"The glamour of the East had cast its spell upon him; the mystery of lands in which no white man had set foot since the beginning of things had fired his imagination; the itch of travel was upon him, goading him to restlessness"

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Banksy in Southampton

My dissertation is arguing how the meaning of graffiti has changed to the present day. I explore the argument of whether graffiti is art or vandalism and how the rise of street artist Bansky has given the term 'graffiti' a whole new meaning and shaped how we see it in the 21st century. So when this appeared in Southampton last tuesday i couldn't believe my luck! what great timing to inspire me further with my essay and give relevant, up to date primary research material. 
The mural was stenciled onto a father of one's front wall of his home in Bevois Valley in Southampton and drew attention from BBC news, press, the art elite and pedestrian passers by all flocking to see the art work. it was rumored Bansky was on his way to the isle of White and decided to stop here on his way through. Some doubted it was by the real Banksy, but when the stencil art appeared on his website there was no doubt it was a real piece of art by the anonymous graffiti artist. 

The mural was said to have increased the gentlemen's house by more than £20,000 and the plan was to sell the painting to an art gallery or to preserve it like they do with perspex and a frame like the ones in Brighton. The image of a young boy with the words 'no future' above was stunning, and i felt so privileged and excited that we had a real Bansky in Southampton! 

So you can imagine the uproar when less than 24 hours later, someone with a white wash and paintbrush had the nerve to paint over the Bansky mural along with writing the word 'styles' next to the text above. 

Posters have been stuck to the wall next to the graffiti asking to 'find the Banksy mural ruiner' . So kids believe the graffiti Bansky created is ok, but not the graffiti of others? Surely both artists have broke the same laws, using the same materials in the same context... so what makes one right and the other not? CHildren of today are being bought up in the midst of graffiti art and the meaning to them is a whole lot different to that of an older generation. 

WHO and WHY were the questions circulating the next day, and as you can imagine there was uproar and controversy over what had been done to artwork. But how is what Bansky created art work, and not what the youth has graffitied onto it artwork? they are both vandalising property illegally using the same materials- they are both graffiti and have just practiced the same ideas in the same context. Is it the motives behind the graffiti that makes it art? The argument of weather graffiti is a legitimate art form will continue to be questioned and never answered. This doesn't change the fact that Bansky is seen as a true artist of the 21st century creating something new and innovative with our landscapes. 

Yesterday i went back to the mural to see if any further changes have been made. This is what i found... 

Does graffiti have a future style? or is everyone just creating the same old thing? illegal vandalism using spray paint... I plan to continue documenting the process and change of the Banksy mural here in Southampton and use for the practice element of my disertation. 

Will controversy and further graffiti continue to happen surrounding the wall? previous work's of graffiti artist Bansky have been attacked and changed, creating new pieces of graffiti.. or 'art' 

what do you see it as? 

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