The Online Newspaper of Lakewood High School

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    Banksy and the Destruction of Art


    Street artists declare that the world is their canvas, unbridled by the border of expansive frames and instead works on the unending scape of the side of buildings or bridges. Banksy is one of them.

    Banksy is a 44-year-old street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director hails from Bristol, United Kingdom but his bold and effective street art is scattered all across buildings in the UK. His style is uniquely himself, a graffiti style that exudes dark and cynical humor combined with spray paint in a stencil type fashion. Banksy doesn’t sell reproductions of his art work, but his art is often sold and resold.

    While he is a renowned artist and film director, his real identity is largely disputed. In October of 2014, there was a rumor that Banksy was arrested and  his identity was revealed. However, that was proven false. Some believe that Banksy is Robin Gunningham, born July 28 1973, and was later found out to use the name ‘Robin’ while checking into a hotel. It is also disputed that he could be Robert De Naja, frontman of the trip hop band Massive Attack. De Naja has experience working with graffiti and has said that he himself is a close friend of Banksy.

    However, a couple of weeks ago, the anonymous street artist pulled one of his best stunts. One of his most well-known paintings, Girl with Balloon, was set to self destruct after it was sold for  $1.4 million at Sotheby’s in London. The name of the buyer is not open to the public.

    “Then we heard an alarm go off,” says Morgan Long, a head of an art investment at an advisory called Fine Art Group, in an interview with the New York Times. “Everyone turned around and the picture slipped through its frame.”

    The canvas was partially shredded through the bottom of the frame that was most likely activated by remote control. Believe it or not, Banksy has an Instagram where he posted a video of the painting being shredded.  The artist said that the shredder was built into the frame years before, in case it was ever bought.

    Banksy isn’t the first person to destroy art. The destruction of art is pointing to the absurdity of his graffiti styled social commentary being treated as fine art.



    More to Discover