Art Can Change the World analysis


Art changes perceptions and helps us to transform the world. This is the message from JR, who has worked tirelessly through pasting his giant images on buildings, bridges, and trains. Often, travelling to dangerous places, from the Israeli Palestine frontier to the Kenyan slums, he penetrates communities, befriends its inhabitants, and recruits them as collaborators and models. He captures his subject’s faces by use of a 28 mm lens camera, which culminates in portraits that are real, unguarded, soulful, and funny.  The ballooned images pasted on rooftops, urban surfaces, buses, the sides of buildings, trains, and bridges meet head-on with audiences where they least anticipate. Palestinian and Israeli photos are pasted on both sides of walls that disconnect them; Images of thugs in Paris are also pasted up in bourgeois environs.  His latest project; Women are Heroes shows how women deal with the consequences of war: oppression, poverty and violence. He covers this story from various perspectives globally ranging from Africa, Rio de Janeiro, Delhi and Phnom Penh (JR Web).

JR’s style shares similarities with those of Banksy, an English artist who grew up in Bristol. Banksy embarked on doing graffiti in the 1980s. He believes that Graffiti offers people the power of speech that can make them to initiate revolutions and therefore change the world. Physical, graffiti and outdoor exhibition all display his artworks range. His works can be viewed all over the world, are usually made up of people and their way of life, and are often accompanied by text. Through all his paintings, he employs propaganda to make people accept his messages (Banksy Web).

Through his “Show me the Monet” painting Banksy objected to the allusion that the audiences do not make up art, and that it is managed by a selected few who decide what can sell and what cannot sell. He did this in 2003 by engineering a popular stunt in the Bristol British museum, where he hung amongst the existing collection of pictures as well as paintings of famous political personalities. He did this by inserting unwarranted elements in every image. It is important to note that Claude Monett had initially painted this iconic picture in 1899 (Banksy 20). He sought to motivate people to act instead of showing indifference to the situation. While he brings out the ideas, he leaves the understanding to the audiences. Banksy is renowned for his stencil art. This kind of work tends to challenge authority; it is immune of social status and can thus be done anywhere so long as one has a stencil and paint (Pratkanis Web).

In his picture “Who sacked all the Clawns” A monkey is depicted to be the queen. This was a representation of the entitlement myth that was given to the monarchical queen in Britain, by default and not by achievement. His message is that the race cannot be said to be fair if some people have the biased support of the public, yet one individual enjoys unwarranted privileges. This makes people to give up and calmly become part of the audience. In this painting, he is perceived to be following an agenda. He is anonymous and works with a team that includes film producers and street artists (Norman Web).

He makes his propaganda theme relevant to modernity and in order to comprehend his artistic works, it is critical to comprehend events that shaped his early life. In his formative years, his Bristol neighborhood experienced racial problems, the economy was also not doing well, and there were riots because of the growing unemployment rates. The St. Paul riots are what shaped his thinking and perception. These riots were triggered by the unrelenting joblessness amongst Bristol’s minority. His artistic works allude to a lot of riots and revolts as is with the “Who sacked all the Clawns” painting (Tufte Web).

Banksy’s 2005 work on the Israel West bank barrier in Bethlehem is amongst his most prominent pieces because of its meaning and attitude. The message in the painting is peace and escape. The point he was trying to make through that painting is that the evaluation of the pictures details was not that significant; rather, the important thing was the acknowledgement of the fact that a semiotic code was entrenched in not only the pictures but also in the wall. Apart from that, they had a mutual similarity because of the wall. This made them look related (Pratkanis Web).

The background contrast of the pictures and the wall assist the audience in making meaningful deductions through visual syntax. The wall that represents reality is a canvas for the ideological stokes inherent in the illustrations. According to Edward Tuffle, one critical manner in which a standard of truth telling can be sustained is to insist that the unprocessed and innocent natural image should be exhibited alongside its manipulated image. In addition to that, the manipulators and their methodology should be identified. Banksy’s objectives can also be identified in his paintings and this particular painting made the audience to perceive him as an opinion leader with messages that are accepted by them (Tufte Web).



Works Cited

Banksy Exit Through the Gift Shop, documentary, Paranoid Pictures, (2010).Web.

Retrieved from< com/movie-reviews/9555-exit-through-the-gift-shop-paranoid-pictures-r“>> [Accessed: 25/11/2013]

JR: Street artist, inside out project: ideas worth spreading. (2013). Web

Retrieved from: <> [Accessed: 25/11/2013]

Norman James, Graffiti goes up market: Fairfax digital (2005).Web.

Retrieved from :<> [Accessed: 25/11/2013]

Pratkanis Anthony, Age of Propaganda; The everyday use and Abuse of persuasion, A glut of influence, Holt paper backs. (2012).Web

Retrieved from :< com/ageofpropaganda/AnthonyPratkanis“> > [Accessed: 25/11/2013]

Tufte Edward, Visual explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and narrative, Paranoid Pictures. (2010). Web

Retrieved from :<> [Accessed: 25/11/2013]





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