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Banksy boy worker

November 20, 2012

There an ongoing debate around graffiti: is it a way to express yourself; is it art? Or, is it merely a criminal activity, an outward expression of social disorganisation and vandalism in an area? Is it the meaningless activity of “criminal people” that causes councils and government millions in cleanup efforts? Should it hold severe sanctions; it’s a dangerous activity (tagging high building and bridges under railways) that government has a responsibility to protect its citizens by, should everything possible be done to prevent individuals from undertaking this activity? These debates take on a new level when looking at two things: the new trend of graffiti as art, where artists have become millionaires, and Banksy. Banksy is an English based anonymous graffiti artist. Banksy’s boy worker is obviously a beautiful piece of art, and to the right person it is worth millions. But, it’s also worth more than that; it’s a statement. It appeared in North London 2012 (the same time as the London Olympics and Royal Anniversary) on a “PoundLand” wall. It makes you think about the plight of the child labourer and how the Olympics and Royal Anniversary affects capitalism and commercialism and how this in turn affects child labouring. Are these worse crimes than graffiti, does it highlight greater harm in the world through this medium of art? This blurs the line between graffiti and crime. Is Banksy’s work a crime? Should it be? If it’s a crime, should his work be destroyed, even though its though provoking and inspirational to millions?  

 

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