Banksy is a street artist whose identity is unknown all over the world. He is known to be Robert Banks or Robin Gunningham. He began his career as a graffiti artist in the early `90s. His signature style was developed while his work became more popular around Bristol and London. Banksy’s artwork is known to be striking images with slogans and dark humor. He engages political themes, critiquing war, capitalism, and greed. Banksy’s artwork has transformed around the world from being vandalism to interesting pieces of high quality of art.
In 2007, Banksy famous created a stenciled imaged on the security wall of West Bank in Bethlehem. The wall is known to be a barrier and has many names such as “apartheid wall” and “Anti-terrorist fence” that separates Israel and Palestine. There were many conflicts with Israeli soldiers that the Palestinian villagers went to court and won the case. The fence was moved closer Israel and then it was rebuilt as a wall. This wall is known to have artwork all over it where it promotes upcoming events in the area, but Banksy’s artwork was what shocked people the most. Banksy chose this wall because it was the birthplace of Jesus and it was the center of allegations of human rights abuses. The wall art of ‘Girl and a Soldier’ represents the controversial idea of children being persecuted. The image shows a girl wearing ponytails and a pink dress representing purity and innocence. The soldier is in the traditional soldier clothing with a machine gun lying on his side to contrast with the young girl signifying violence. The girl patting down the soldier displays dehumanization of individuals as they are automatically assumed to be aggressive based on their religion or ethnicity. The image demonstrates the limited freedom that Palestine people have with role reversal. It also demonstrates the limited freedom that Palestine people have with role reversal. Banksy’s goal of this artwork is to have observers to contemplate the cultural barriers that avoid others from completely recognizing the true humanity of others. Banksy’s artwork influences society because he sends out the message through his artwork of human rights.
His artwork impacted me personally because it made me realize how artwork can describe so much meaning. An image can hold so much content and can change people’s perspectives of the world. When looking at Banksy’s artwork I realized the world is not a safe place and that there are always controversies between one another, between countries, or between certain groups of people.