Street artist Banksy, well known for his bold spray painting figures of humans and animals often dealing with controversial topics of interest, is one of the most successful in his area of art.
For my own work I found much inspiration in his figures, particularly those he creates in all black as they fitted so well with the ongoing theme of my own studio practice. Two pieces that inspired me in particular were those depicting the scenes of one, a young girl patting down a soldier and two, that of a young man throwing a bouquet of flowers.
The first caught my eye because of its obvious relevance to my final outcome, the roles of the soldier and civilian being switched, the soldier instead having their rights and privacy taken away and the young girl being the intruder doing so. The soldiers gun being propped up against the wall beside the girl, suggests that she may have taken it from him, attempting to deter any violent, threatening behaviour he may proceed to act out. The calm nature of which the solider is allowing the child to be in the position of power hints at the hidden power behind wars, how they are all controlled by people in positions of power and not by those who are affected most by the conflicts. The image subtly hints at the hidden power behind wars while obviously presenting an anti-violence stance through the innocence of the girl and the power she is being given where in the real world, as a civilian in a country with armed conflicts she would be given none.
The second image caught my eye because of the juxtaposition of the two images. One being of a boy about to throw something, in a violent manner, the other being of a bouquet of flowers, that having connotations of peace, love and happy occasions. The combination of the two images is not expected as one screams violence and fear while the other presents love and peace. The image is made more impactful by the replacement of a weapon with flowers as they not only portray peace but also beauty, showing the glorified attitude western countries apply to violence through games and other forms of media.
Both images take an anti-violence stance with their bold images that shock the viewers, they are created to cause conversation, to make the viewer’s think about their own view and cause a discussion. Both pieces are successful in what they set out to do.




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