Banksy. Napalm. 2004
“Banksy reinvented street art, making it as “loud” as ever.”
The artworks that reflect social, economic or political issues are often considered controversial, but they bring attention to the problem that affects the lives of millions of people. One of the first artists that come to mind regarding this matter is Banksy.
Banksy reinvented street art, making it as “loud” as ever. Each of his works are a showcase of one of the major social issues we are accustomed to living with.There are so many horrifying things that are happening in the world that we have become desensitized and quickly forget or close our eyes to these events. We are just detachedly switching from one horrible news to another, as long as they don’t affect us directly.
When we see art made by Bansky, we smile and think that it’s a fantastic work of art. They reflect the sad truths of the world we are living in, but the next minute we are back to thinking about things that are more critical for us at that moment, and we continue living our nice and peaceful lives. “Napalm” is one of these works.
“…large corporations are lobbying and supporting military actions in other countries”
Two ubiquitous American corporations, represented by Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald, which supply people the never-ending joy of consumerism, are seen holding hands with a naked crying girl, which represents the horrifying things that are happening around the world. The original photograph of the girl is from the bombings in Vietnam.
The irony of this particular art is that large corporations are lobbying and supporting military actions in other countries. They use money that comes from their sale of products, services and junk food which they manipulatively portray as keys to a happy, wealthy and peaceful life.
Due to his anonymity, Banksy had to come up with solutions to help identify his works and prevent people from being victims of fraud.
Many people, galleries and other institutions are still trying to use his name and his art to make a profit, but it seems clear that his primary goal is not to make money but instead to bring people’s attention to more pressing issues.He seems to be proclaiming: “Just stop, look at this work, think and try to make a change,” rather than: “Sell->Buy->Hang it on the wall->Tell your sophisticated guests about its cost.”