Monday, January 25, 2016

Banksy Does New York: Banksy, Street Art

I loved this documentary. Learning about arts and connecting it to language teaching activates the brain and critical thinking. Try watching it!

Banksy is the pseudonym of a street artist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces.

Artistic Career

Banksy's artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. 
Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In October 2013, Banksy took to the streets of New York City. There he pledged to create a new piece of art for each day of his residency. As he explained to the Village Voice, "The plan is to live here, react to things, see the sights—and paint on them. Some of it will be pretty elaborate, and some will just be a scrawl on a toilet wall." During that month, he also sold some of his works on the street for $60 a piece, well below the market value for his art. Banksy's identity remains unknown, despite intense speculation. The two names most often suggested are Robert Banks and Robin Gunningham. Pictures that surfaced of a man who was supposedly Banksy pointed toward Gunningham, an artist who was born in Bristol in 1973. Gunningham moved to London around 2000, a timeline that correlates with the progression of Banksy's artwork. Others claim she is a woman because of her uniqueness and difference from other street artists, usually men.

I. Work in groups. Look at some of Banksy's work and discuss the questions below.

1. What is the message given by each of his work pieces?

2. Do you consider his work "art"? Why (not)?

3. Most of his work does not last for a long time like most street art. So, why is he so famous?

4. Recently, newspapers have announced that Banksy is probably a woman? Should she or he reveal his real name? Explain it?

5. Is Street Art really art? Explain it?



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