GRAFFITI: ART THROUGH VANDALISM
Banksy, OBEY, Invader, Roa, Os Gemeos, Basquiat and Vhils are just some of the names most commonly associated with the world of Graffiti. Let’s discuss the origins of this art form, the politics, the purpose, what drives graffiti artists and what most shocks, offends or inspires the societies that interact with them.
DEFINITION OF GRAFFITI
Graffiti are writings or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.
As just stated in the definition, examples of graffiti have existed in almost every society since ancient times. However the contemporary style of graffiti that we will discuss in this workshop is often associated with the emergence of Hip Hop culture during the late 1960s in New York City predominantly from the African American community.
Banksy originated from the city of Bristol in the United Kingdom and is arguably one of the most famous graffiti artists alive today. Due to the often illegal nature of graffiti art, he created the pseudonym (nickname) ‘Banksy’ to hide his true identity which he has successfully managed to do until today. This has added an additional layer of mystique and intrigue to his work. He is most famous for using a stencil style of graffiti, but as his Wikipedia page states, he is also known as a political activist, film director and painter. Much of Banksy’s artwork has a strong political undertone that seeks to challenge traditional ideas present in society. In 2011 he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary for the film ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’.
THE MILLIONAIRE GRAFFITI ARTIST
It is reported that Banksy is worth approximately $20 million, however he frequently states that he does not want his art to be worth anything. Sotheby’s London (one of the worlds most expensive art galleries) recently sold three of Banksy’s artworks, all for six figure values. In response, the elusive and anonymous British graffiti artist updated his website with an image of the auction house, with the people in the room bidding on a picture with the written words “I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit”. 
*** THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE GRAFFITI ART WORKSHOP! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPERIENCE THIS CONVERSATION WORKSHOP IN FULL, WITH A GLASS OF WINE AND A FRIENDLY GROUP OF PEOPLE, THEN PLEASE CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW TO PARTICIPATE.
The rest of this workshop will discuss...
- BANKSY CONTROVERSY
- GAZA STRIP
- LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
- FAKE BANKNOTES
- ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
- GRAFFITI IS VANDALISM
- OS GÊMEOS
- POLITICAL STATEMENTS – WORLD CUP
- THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF STREET ART
Is there any type of graffiti art that you believe is inappropriate for public spaces? For example, graffiti art that depicts nudity or political themes? Please let us know by leaving a response in the comment section below.
- to scribble: (verb) [Portuguese: rabiscar] - write or draw (something) carelessly or hurriedly.
- to scratch: (verb) [Portuguese: arranhar] - a mark or wound made by scratching.
- pseudonym: (noun) [Portuguese: pseudônimo] writing or written under a false name.
- undertone: (noun) [Portuguese: tom suave / voz baixa] - a subdued or muted tone of sound or colour.
- to bid: (verb) [Portuguese: licitar] - offer (a certain price) for something, especially at an auction.
- moron: (noun) [Portuguese: idiota] - a stupid person.
- kitten: (noun) [Portuguese: gatinho] – a young cat
- rubble: (noun) [Portuguese: entulho] - waste or rough fragments of stone, brick, concrete, etc., especially as the debris from the demolition of buildings.
- inflatable doll: (noun) [Portuguese: boneca inflável] – An object in the form of a woman that is inflated with air, commonly sold as a sex toy.
- jumpsuit: (noun) [Portuguese: Macacão] - a garment incorporating trousers and a sleeved top in one piece, worn as a fashion item, protective garment, or uniform.
- hood: (noun) [Portuguese: capô] a covering for the head and neck with an opening for the face, typically forming part of a coat or sweatshirt.
- handcuffs: [Portuguese: algemas] - a pair of lockable linked metal rings for securing a prisoner's wrists.
- javelin: (noun) [Portuguese: dardo] - a light spear thrown in a competitive sport or as a weapon.
- to take a poke at… (expression) [Portuguese: Ridicularizar] – means provoking or making fun of someone or something.
- to fool: (verb) [Portuguese: enganar] - trick or deceive (someone); dupe.
- disgrace: (noun) [Portuguese: desgraça] - loss of reputation or respect, especially as the result of a dishonourable action.
- dazzlingly: (adjective) [Portuguese: deslumbrantemente] - extremely bright, especially so as to blind the eyes temporarily.
- sticker: (noun) [Portuguese: adesivo] – an adhesive label with an image printed on it.
- posse: (noun) [Portuguese: pelotão] - a body of men, typically armed, summoned by a sheriff to enforce the law.
- crude: (adjective) [Portuguese: cru/rude] - offensively coarse or rude, especially in relation to sexual matters.
- prominence: (noun) [Portuguese: proeminência] - the state of being important or famous.
- gritty: (adjective) [Portuguese: corajoso] - showing courage and resolve.
- folklore: (noun) [Portuguese: folclore] - the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.
- tinge: (noun) [Portuguese: matiz] - a tendency toward or trace of some colour.
- incognito: (adjective) [Portuguese: incógnito] - (of a person) having one's true identity concealed.
- naif art: naïve art is a classification of art that is often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. While many naïve artists appear, from their works, to have little or no formal art training, this is often not true. The words "naïve" and "primitive" are regarded as pejoratives and are, therefore, avoided by many.
- “Exit through the Gift Shop” A Banksy Film, 2010, British documentary film
- Banksy’s official website
- “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination”, February 2015, Banksy Gaza Youtube Video
- “Banksy Bombs LA”, September 2006, Elephant Youtube Video
- “Vhils | Explosive Street Art”, October 2013, Crane.tv, Youtube Video
- “Banksy: The $20 Million Graffiti Artist Who Doesn't Want His Art To Be Worth Anything” Rahm, Danielle October 2013, Forbes
- “Banksy's Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip” Calamur, Krishnadev, February 2015, NPR
- “BREAKING: The Story Disneyland Doesn’t Want You To Know” Marc, September 2006, The Wooster Collective
- “London 2012: Street Artist Banksy’s Olympic Graffiti Unveiled (PICTURES)”, Driscoll, Brogan, July 2012, Huffington Post
- “Exit through the Gift Shop” A Banksy Film, 2010, British documentary film
- “Banksy's painted elephant is illegal, say officials”, Oliver, Mark, September 2006, The Guardian
- “Banksy biography". Brian Sewell Art Directory (briansewell.com). August 2005.
- "Banksy Was Here: The invisible man of graffiti art". Collins, Lauren, May 2007, The New Yorker.
- "Supposing ... Subversive genius Banksy is actually rubbish", Brooker, Charlie, September 2006, The Guardian
- Shepard Fairy Wikipedia
- Invader Wikipedia
- Vilhs Wikipedia
- “ROA: art with a capital ROARRR!”, Snoekx, Kurt, February 2013, Bruzz
- Jean Michel Basquiat Wikipedia
- OsGemeos Wikipedia
- “Italian Street Artist Blu Destroys 20 Years of His Own Work To Protest Upcoming Exhibition” Cascone, Sarah, March 2016
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