Graffiti.

Everyone knows what that word means.

They are those strange, and often ugly, paintings and words scribbled all over the buildings of the big cities.

Cursing, gangs’ names, insults.

Low-level paint coming out from a dirty spray can.

People look at them frowning, thinking that graffiti are the mark of criminality and barbarity.

And most of the times, this is the truth.

When people see graffiti defacing the walls of their cities, the facades of historical monuments, they are right in thinking so.

But some graffiti are capable of standing out from the crowd, and that happens when a spray can becomes a brush and a painting on a wall takes the name of “street art”.

Street art is not only graffiti, but also posters, adhesive art, stencils, every form of art that often is done illegally in the urban areas, the “dark side” of the artistic categories.

Street art’s operas can easily be distinguished from the “normal graffiti”, because when people pass in front of them, they feel confused, attracted by the strange allure that only this kind of art can emanate.

This is a new form of art, born at the end of the last century and that have been truly recognized only in the last twenty years. Nowadays, while walking in some areas of the metropolis of the world, it is easy to spot some big and colourful paintings arising from the foundations of buildings and walls, like strange flowers appeared in the middle of the night.

In Berlin, for example, the street art has been used to cover the atrocities of the Cold War and to transform the Wall in a huge work of art, a vibrant string of graffiti shining in the middle of a sea of concrete. This project takes the name of East Side Gallery and is an international memorial dedicated to freedom and peace, made up of 106 murales realized by artists coming from all over the world.

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One of the murales of the East Side Gallery, Berlin

Obviously, like every form of art, also street art has its own Leonardo or Michelangelo, great artists that perfectly impersonate its artistic spirit; one of them is the famous, yet unknown, Banksy.

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“Grim riper”, by Banksy

Banksy is a British street artist without identity, a faceless figure that travels from one side of the world to the other one, covering buildings and streets with its own peculiar pieces of art. Banksy’s philosophy is purely satiric and aims at pointing out some important political and social topics. He is famous for denaturing some well-known symbols and figures in order to vehiculate his messages of protest; he has created an upside-down world in which everything is taken to the extreme and completely deprived from its natural meaning. In his art monkeys and rats are more human than humans themselves, canon art and collecting are plagues of the society.

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“Rats”, by Banksy

Every opera of Banksy is something unique, controversial, stunning, disturbing.

His art is shaped in order to attract attention, to force people to think about the meaning of every single detail.

Banksy’s art is strange, and like everything connected to the street art, cannot be ignored.

 

Sources:

http://www.banksy.co.uk

http://www.mudec.it/ita/banksy-mudec-milano/

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