Monday 25 February 2013

The Art of Banksy

(PHOTO: Adeyinka Makinde)

I have no particular interest in the art of Banksy, a semi-legendary British artist fond of putting murals on walls. However, I have heard of him and am also aware of the reverential status that his fans accord him.

If his works are effectively ‘stolen’ and offered for sale for phenomenal amounts of money; not just on ebay but in international auction houses, there must obviously be something substantive to the level of his artistry.

My guess is that similarly to the Haitian-American Jean-Michel Basquiat, he is a street artist par excellence .

I stumbled on a mural next to what looked like an antique shop in Naples last year, took a snap and only realised later that the mural was designed by none other than Banksy.

My facebook entry read as follows:

“Naples has the dubious distinction of being the graffiti capital of Europe, but the angel-like Banksy mural next to an antique shop in Piazza dei Gerolomini, off Via dei Tribunali, may probably be classed as 'legitimate' graffiti.”

He also happens to be a man of mystery.

But the question remains:

Are Banksy’s works expressions of genuine artistry or are they in essence manifestations of vandalism?

© Adeyinka Makinde (2013)

Adeyinka Makinde is an author based in London.

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