How does Banksy refer to the laws about street art in this painting?
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Banksy: CAMERA PRESS/James Pfaff/Redux.
Banksy hides his face to protect his identity.
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©Banksy
Banksy: Visionary or Vandal?
You decide if his infamous public creations are illegal graffiti or fine art

How would you feel if you woke up one morning to discover that someone painted on the side of your home? You’d probably be mad—unless the culprit was Banksy. The British street artist paints on public and private property around the world, without the permission of property owners. According to the law, Banksy is a vandal so he keeps his real name and identity a secret. However, many have argued that his paintings aren’t graffiti but rather works of art to be admired.

In 2013, Banksy declared that he was doing a month-long “residency” in New York City. He created one new piece in a different location around the city each day. New York officials vowed to capture and charge Banksy for vandalism. But the police were unable to catch him. The mayor declared that any Banksy work found on city property would be painted over.

Many people in the art community and the general public see Banksy’s art in a more positive light. The public nature of his work means that everyone has access to it. This allows for a much larger audience to enjoy it than art in museums or galleries. Banksy’s stylistically unique paintings and installations have social or political undertones that give the work deeper meaning than most graffiti. But is that enough to make them art?

Art collectors think so. Banksy’s pieces can sell for over a million dollars at auction. So when he paints on the side of a building, the building’s property value increases significantly. Some property owners even take measures to protect Banksy’s art with fences, transparent cases, and security guards. Banksy’s work is so popular that during his New York residency, thieves stole several of the artist’s new works.

Banksy continues to elude authorities as he creates work in cities around the world. What do you think? Should Banksy be celebrated for making public art or prosecuted for making illegal graffiti?

CRAFT AN ARGUMENT
1. Why did the City of New York oppose Banksy’s actions?
2. Why do Banksy’s supporters believe that he is creating art rather than committing a crime?
3. Choose a position. Is Banksy making public art or graffiti?


of course I think Banksy is an artist in that he create visual images for others to look at, ponder, and appreciate. the great debate comes into play in that his art is'nt created on space he owns or is given legal permission to paint on. ei: graffiti. An underlying theme in a lot of graffiti is "gang tagging". Marking a territory and declaring "this is our space." Some graffiti is beautiful and has art elements to it. Artists often crave a large canvas, what better space than a large blank wall? Banksys art is often tounge in cheek, and he has become more famous because of his anonymous stature. I think Banksy likes to play with the authorities, its a game for him. His notoriety for his "art" also is driving his art to be more popular and well known as opposed to being represented in a gallery or trying to sell his art himself. He has created a unique debate around this art form. So I guess my final answer is YES he is making GRAFFITI. BUT is graffiti an art form??? For this I have to say yes as well.
Posted by: Pat P. | February 23, 2015 at 3:47 PM
Bansky intrigues me, as an artist I appreciate what he is doing to the buildings in the city. He brings ideas to life and presents them to the public in a way that makes them take notice, and actually makes them think about what they're seeing rather than just looking at it and saying, "Ah, that's pretty." I also think it's a genius way to get publicity for your art, it's free advertisement for himself. And weather the artists appreciate it or the police criticize it, he's still being noticed. I think the fact that he is being bold by continuing to make meaningful art even with the Police disapproving is something to admire and can teach us all a little something about taking risks for the things we believe and stand for.
Posted by: Bailey T. | February 26, 2015 at 3:22 PM
Bansky seems to be quite the interesting character. After reading the article, I was a bit conflicted in my opinion on whether or not his work is "art" so to speak. I eventually decided that it was art, because its something that's thought provoking. The fact that he stays anonymous just makes the case (and his art) even more intriguing. So yes, I think that Bansky's graffiti is art.
Posted by: Cassie C. | March 5, 2015 at 3:59 PM
The fact that people wouldn't consider this art is repulsive. Obviously Banksy is a very talented artist who deserves to be recognized as one, not chased around by the cops. It is art because Banksy has created a work that has emotional value and makes its onlookers think about its meaning, and it has opened up another argument of whether or not graffiti should be considered art or just paint on walls. I think graffiti is art because even if its definition is paint on walls, paintings in galleries are just paints on canvas. Art should not be defined by where it is, who painted it, and whether or not it's completely legal, but rather it should be defined by its emotional value and ability to make viewers think.
Posted by: Bianca G. | March 5, 2015 at 3:59 PM
I think that the city opposed his actions because it technically is a crime for vandalism. If people don't want his art on the sides of their buildings then they should report him for vandalism, but if they actually want it their then they should tell police officers. I think that Banksy is a great artist and should keep doing what he is doing. He brings property prices up a lot, and brings the city and buildings to life. I think he gives the city a more retro, and creative look. Graffiti is a very hard thing to do, and I think that people who can create images like this, should be rewarded not punished. I think it is art and there shouldn't be consequences unless the owner files a complaint.
Posted by: Garret K. | March 5, 2015 at 4:00 PM
I think the reason that New York opposed Bansky's artwork, was because he was vandalizing their buildings. His supporters believe that he is creating art, he is. Art isn't just writing on paper. Art is and expression of what the artist thinks, and when they use their imagination. I'd say, Bansky is using his imagination very well. I think that Bansky is creating art. His graffiti is creative, they take imagination and skill, all of what Bansky is made of, and that is exactly what other artists are made of. He has the same skills that any other artist has, her just chooses his blank piece of paper to be on the wall, where he will get noticed for it. All graffiti is art, it just take the right person to see that.
Posted by: Mikayla R. | March 5, 2015 at 4:02 PM
I think he is right. I think he is doing a very good thing. He is make is community nicer with his paintings. I think New York is opposing him because they think he is hurting them. But really he's not. He is making it better for eveyone. I think it was really nice of him to come to New York, and put up his paintings. Even art collectors are saying he is not a vandle of the city. Even theifs are starting to steal his art work because it is becoming so pouplur. So I think he is making public art.
Posted by: Jamarr T. | March 5, 2015 at 4:03 PM
The city of New York opposes Banksy because they think of his work as vandalism. I for one think this is really cool, because he has evaded police and hid his identity for so long. People in that city think of his paintings as art because they believe that it has political or social undertones that give it much more meaning than just a picture on the wall.I think Banksy's art is truly art, not graffiti. People only think its graffiti because of where he places it They think it has to be in the museum not on the wall on public/private property.
Posted by: Sam K. | March 5, 2015 at 4:04 PM
They said if Banksy drew art on some ones property then he or she should paint over it. Hi art isn't like graffiti it is more than that some people leave because it is so beautiful. Some people also take the art and sell it for a lot of money.i think it is public art and graffiti because it is on someone elses property but it is also public art because it is so nice and beautiful.
Posted by: Braxsten D. | March 5, 2015 at 4:05 PM
I think that graffiti is very wrong in the eyes of the law. I want this guy to go to jail because it is vandalism and we clearly don't need it. Why can't Banksy just get a real job like every other human on earth? When you go around city to city just to do this I think to myself. This guy can be an actual artist and use paint and paper. I mean really though. Art is a lifestyle for many people but this guy is a criminal.
Posted by: Kaleb K. | March 5, 2015 at 4:05 PM
I personally am very interested in this subject. I personally know that Bansky is technically committing a crime but most people, including me, enjoy his art. And it can even send property value up. 1. They opposed it because he is committing a crime. 2.I think they say it is art because people enjoy it.
Posted by: Samson B. | March 5, 2015 at 4:05 PM
I believe that what Banksy is doing is art! He's basically making a temporary (depending on whether it is painted over or not) public art gallery. While yes, it is technically vandalism, he puts a deeper meaning into it than just spray painting his name on a building. It's vandalism, but it's beautiful. He's talented in both art and keeping himself so anonymous. No one knows his face, his real name, and police can't catch him. I believe that he should be celebrated, if he painted on my house I would be honored! I wouldn't paint over it, and by no means would I press charges. Not to mention, the property value would go up! Banksy is kind of like a Robin Hood artist, if you think about it. Rather putting his art in a gallery where people would be charged to see it, he puts it in the public for everyone to see. Vandal? Yes. Should he be charged for what he's doing? No. It's beautiful and meaningful.
Posted by: Shelby M. | March 5, 2015 at 4:06 PM
Some people in New York don't like it, but others do. Banksy's supporters believe that he is creating art rather than committing a crime because they really enjoy looking at the art that he creates. Some people probably really enjoy walking outside and seeing something awesome that they've never seen before. I think Banksy is kind of doing a bit of both. Graffiti, because he does it without getting permission from the people. But yet it's public art, because it's really neat and very many people enjoy seeing it. Everyone there has access to it, so they can go to take pictures that they like. I'm more on the good side than the bad. I wouldn't like to have random art all over my house without my permission, but yet I would like to see the cool things he creates.
Posted by: Brookelyn R. | March 5, 2015 at 4:07 PM
I honestly believe that this is illegal vandalism. If I was to wake up to find someone had done this to the side of my house or work building, I would be pretty mad. Actually, very mad. I believe this is art, but it's not something that needs to be done on the sides of a building without having permission. Like I said earlier in my comment, I would be super mad if that was done. I don't know how people in a large city would feel about it. There is nothing they can do about it, but it's not fair to them. I would paint over it. I think some people in NYC may protect it, because they may think it's cool, but not me. I don't think it is fair that it is done to people who may not like it. His supporters may believe that he creating art and not committing a crime because it is great work (for the people who think so) and it is actual painting. I like the 3D look of it though, I will admit to that. I just honestly can't get over why you would do that to someone's home or work that they work hard to keep nice and then you go and destroy it! It's just ridiculous to me! I believe this is illegal graffiti.
Posted by: Elizabeth G. | March 5, 2015 at 4:09 PM
1. They might not like having to paint over Banksy's work, because that costs money to buy paint, and they might want to save it for other things they might actually need. 2. They think it is a public nature since everyone in the town he paints graffiti on can see it, and for free. Other than going to a museum and having to pay to see art (sometimes) 3. Personally I think he is making public art. It's not that he's trying to destroy property or get in trouble. A lot of people enjoy what he draws, and paints, so I think he is trying to make public work.
Posted by: Breanna K. | March 5, 2015 at 4:09 PM
The city of New York is opposed to Banksy's actions because they see it as destruction , and vandalism, but did they ever wonder what others may think of it? Instead of the law's opinion, why don't they ask the people? Do they disagree to? Is it an action that needs to be stopped? Or do they possibly think his art is inspiring, and worth so much more? Banksy's supporters believe he is creating art, that it is truly amazing. Some people don't take the risk's Bankey is taking, for some it will put them in quite a bit of trouble with the law, but Banksy's pulled it off so far, and look at all the attention and exposure his art work has gotten! I honestly think he is an amazing artist, some may disagree with others and I, but Banksy is doing something that matters to him, and something that even can inspire others to take chances and put themselves out there, no matter the risks! Some may think it's vandalism but I believe it's art!
Posted by: Taylor G. | March 5, 2015 at 4:11 PM
1. Because they saw it a vandalism. Also he didn't ask permission before he painted on the buildings, so that counts as vandalism. I don't see why. They are rather kinda cute, unless it is offensive to people. Then it is vandalism. 2. Because no one knows who he is, so it makes them rather mysterious. Also, they are very well done rather than actual graffiti, which is normally someone's name or gang name, but this person is actually creating art. 3. I think it is public art. Because it is rather cute and fun. I would love to be artistinc like him. See art in everything. See what can I can do to make everything into art. That would be amazing.
Posted by: Megan B. | March 5, 2015 at 4:11 PM
Well if he painted on my I would be mad and then if I found him I would make him clean it up. But if t was nice I would leave it up and yes it is wrong but no. 1. Well it is wrong but it is a work of art. 2. It is art and as long at is not on peoples house and on old buildings then it in fine. 3. He is making public art not graffiti.
Posted by: Shane B. | March 5, 2015 at 4:12 PM
1. The City of New York vowed to capture and charge Banksy for vandalism but the police were unable to catch him. The mayor declared that any Banksy work found on city property would be painted over. 2. Because they don't think of his art as graffiti they think of it as art to be admired. 3. Personally in my opinion I think Banksy is creating art! He goes around and creates amazing pictures and its kind of like they tell stories. He is a really good painter. I think its defiantly art.
Posted by: Hannah G. | March 5, 2015 at 4:12 PM
1. Why did the City of New York oppose Banksy's actions? They didn't like his actions, because they didn't want graffiti all over their nice buildings and stores. They thought graffiti was a crime, and they didn't tolerate crimes. They declared they would paint over Banksy's graffiti. 2. Why do Banksy's supporters believe that he is creating art rather than committing a crime? They see Banksy's art in a more positive way, something to light up the city a little bit more. Something to get past all the bad things in life. I think that supporters support him, because art comes in may different and mysterious ways, and this is one of the ways. 3. Choose a position. Is Banksy making public art or graffiti? I think Banksy is making a public art, because he is painting positive pictures, not negative ones. The pictures he is painting are not showing anything inappropriate. He is creating amazing amounts of artwork in mysterious places. It may be graffiti, but graffiti is a form of art!
Posted by: Chloe D. | March 5, 2015 at 4:13 PM
I do not agree that Banksy should not have went around New York creating art. The police opposed him because people around New York things were damaged due to his art. I think that not all people agree that he was creating graffiti rather than art because he was creating art without the property owners permission. Most likely the people who said he was creating art rather than it being graffiti they liked his work. The people have a right to be mad but the people who agree to his work does not make this right to everyone. I think that Banksy is designing graffiti not public art. I do not agree with what he is doing because if this were me, I would not my things drawn on with other peoples work. If I wanted art, I would do it or ask someone.
Posted by: Ellie K. | March 5, 2015 at 4:14 PM
Everyone is an artist, even a two year old is. Which makes Banksy an artist as well. Yes, he is doing graffiti, but it's not anything bad. (Inappropriate language or drawings). I think the city of New York opposes to his actions because he's drawing on property that doesn't belong to him. When you first think of graffiti, you think of the ones on the trains or done by gangs. But Banksy's graffiti is a work of art. It's definitely art that should be in art museums. Bansky is making public art, what he's doing is very well done, it's very art show worthy, and if the public likes it, why not keep it?
Posted by: Amy P. | March 5, 2015 at 4:18 PM
They think all art on the city building is graffiti and I don't like it. They look beautiful and a work of art and they don't want to disappear. Banksy is making public art.
Posted by: Tim H. | March 5, 2015 at 4:18 PM
1. Some of the parts of the city didn't like it because they didn't like that he wrote all over the walls or any other place that he could find. But other parts liked it because they saw it in a different way, a positive. It was more than just art to some people. 2. When he wakes up and fines paintings all over his house, so he kept himself undercover and did what he had to do. More people admired his work rather than argued it. 3. He is making public art because he is trying to say something that means to him. He kept himself undercover and didn't get caught.
Posted by: Summer S. | March 5, 2015 at 4:19 PM
He doesn't ask permission around there, and just announced that he would, and I think that the mayor feels like he walking over his territory, and thinks that Banksy doesn't have that type of power to do that and it makes the mayor mad, because he's getting away with it. Because they often have a social or political meaning, and that it is just like any other art, just on a different canvas. His canvas is the world, its his way of making his mark, and shedding light on things important to him. he still putting time, effort, and tools to this. He's doing the same thing as somebody home in their studio. I believe that Bansky is making art. Rules placed, aren't always the right ones. Besides paint is cheap, if people don't like it on their on PERSONAL stores, business, or homes, then cover it up. But if it's a public thing, everyone, I believe, should have the right to put their on idea on it. Thats all Banksy's doing. People are still selling this like art. We still look at it as art. It's just different art. And different is good!
Posted by: Emma A. | March 5, 2015 at 4:19 PM
he should not be punished
Posted by: Izabel K. | March 20, 2015 at 1:31 PM
yes he is a good artist but he still doesn't have permission to be doing graffiti on the side of these buildings. i honestly don't think graffiti is specifically art but it can be a beautiful depending on what you make. if he were to get caught doing this he would probably get in a lot of trouble but he may think its no big deal and just keep doing it. Banksy may be trying to prove something in his graffiti but people may not think of it that way.
Posted by: Courtney F. | March 20, 2015 at 1:38 PM
He should not be punished. He also hasn't been caught, so Banksy has to be pretty clever to maneuver around all of the cops, security guards, an what ever else has been trying to uncover him and lock him up. This guy is just using some walls that are blank and plain and making them into a genuine piece of art. Some people who's property has been vandalized protect it and keep it on their property so it will have more value. If his art is worth millions why not keep it on your property and get good money for it. This is why he should not be put in jail he is just an artist and this is how he works.
Posted by: Alexis S. | March 20, 2015 at 1:39 PM
I believe he is creating art, but it is hard to decide whether he should be punished or not. I believe if the art he creates has a positive message behind it, it should be accepted. And maybe if he were to get caught, he could create art without the secret identity and he would be recognized, but he is also being recognized because he has a secret identity. I would hope he would stay popular either way. It would be better if he got permission to do this so he would not get into trouble. I think to decide whether his work is graffiti is depending on the message he gives through his work. His work is definitely graffiti, but I think it is art also.
Posted by: Sadie T. | March 20, 2015 at 1:39 PM
I believe that Banksy is an artist and that just because he is painting on public property does not mean he is a criminal. Public properly is meant for the public and Banksy is part of the public. He is an artist and he needs a big canvas. He is imprinting his art work on large blank walls for the people to see. Museums and art gallery visits can be expensive and some people who enjoy art work can't enjoy all the art that is offered. Banksy offers an opportunity for people to observe his work without paying large fees. The art work he is doing is different from other artists . Banksy is creative and all of his work sends a message, or tells a story. His work is art and he should not be punished for allowing the public to see fine art for no fee.
Posted by: Rayah S. | March 20, 2015 at 1:40 PM
Weather or not this is illegal it is amazing what he is doing. I personally think he is making beautiful art and as long as it is not hurting peoples image or reputation in anyway i am in total agreement with what he is doing. The paintings he is doing are amazing and he is giving his opinion on things that matter to him. But i also see why some people do not agree with it because it is also a law he is breaking and he is getting famous for being a criminal. He is doing something that some gangs have been doing for a very long time but instead of tagging his work he leaves it the way he finished it. Gangs use graffiti to show ownership and that they own that area. None the less he is my inspiration and his paintings are amazing and he is making his mark on this earth.
Posted by: Kiah W. | March 20, 2015 at 1:41 PM

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