If you’ve taken the time to feast your eyes upon the street art of Banksy, then consider yourself privileged. Of course there must be a difference of opinion, it defines the purpose of art, but there is no disputing this man is good. Hearing his name is now associated with Banksy the modern Picasso.
Picasso’s style can definitely be seen in Banksy’s work, as with all great artists, inspiration usually starts with what you see beforehand. If you look closely then you will see some Dali mixed in there as well, but it screams original on so many levels just like blind piano players. His vision is captivating and engaging. The chance of somebody not noticing while walking by is very slim compared to most street graffiti that can be seen. It’s in your face but not forced. The big difference between the legends and this modern style is communication. Banksy is social, making people look without demanding attention; whereas the greats were more introverted and less aggressive.
Da Vinci, Picasso, Dali were amongst the most creative artist in their time. What can be said about Banksy? Better yet, have you seen it before? The modern mediums for this artist are by no means easy to work with. Given the time limit he has to finish his work and the material he is using, he never stops astounding or entertaining the media. Even though his graffiti is illegal, some of his pieces have been sold by the owners of the walls they are painted on.
Another big difference comes to light. Banksy likes to use the written word for a variety of pieces, which you won’t find with the legends. He is an activist although not all his work is political. There is a great measure of personal mood and emotion, fired by passion to grab some attention and actually get the viewer to think. The brilliant irony and truths are short and powerful. A true artist has all the freedom in the world according to this anonymous villain.
It would seem like Banksy’s faceless persona play’s a big part. Many people would agree that the temptation to become world famous usually outweighs the initial intent to create. Thus far he has stood strong at staying infamous instead. Apart from adding mystery to his work, he gains respect for his attempt to keep the focus on the pieces. If there is any hope for sparking new life into art then this is it.
Is Banksy the modern Picasso? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It would be best to not make the comparison at all, seeing as Banksy is in a league of his own, just like Picasso. The main result and objective for any artist is to stand out from the crowd and not be related back to someone else. It might seem like a compliment, but it’s not. Banksy is an original. Street graffiti and art will never be the same thanks to this man. Maybe there could be a self-portrait someday, no-one will know.