Banksy is a well known, elusive artist, known for his artistic pranks. He travels to random, well-known areas to display (basically vandalize) his art in grandiose fashions. For example, he would paint beautiful murals in areas without permission, but since they’re so pretty, the owners of that wall would keep it. Another time he would place his painting inside museums with no one ever noticing — this draws huge crowds to museums, which prompts museum managers to keep his painting on display and turn it into a special exhibit. In this particular exhibit, Banksy somehow got an elephant, painted it, and placed it in the “Barely Legal” (he definitely meant it) exhibition. The elephant was covered in safe face paint, but that still drew a great deal of anger from various groups of people. A couple days later, the elephant was washed at the last day.

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6 thoughts on “Banksy: Elephant in the Room

  1. Banksy’s art is for a good social cause. And I do enjoy the humor in the actual visualization of the elephant in the room as an art piece. But, because the elephant is an actual living thing(very intelligent too), his artwork gets more criticism than usual. Judging from the video, the elephant seems used to confinement, and it tolerates people painting all over its body. A little Google search showed me that he rented this elephant from a company Have Trunk Will Travel, and their treatment of their elephants is questionable. So Banksy sort of painted his work with animal abuse, so is that intentional or hypocritical?

  2. I don’t know a lot about Banksy (and I like to think he wants to keep it that way) but I do know that he’s a mysterious artist who leaves his artwork in places where he was not given permission. This post showcases that Banksy is a perfect blend between art and crime and how his work is though-provoking and garners lots of attention no matter where he places it. His anonymity and how he manages to install his work without being seen is incredibly fascinating to me. I also appreciate how his pieces conjure discussions since not only is he an artist, but he is also a political activist.

  3. Banksy’s artistic interventions and pranks certainly stir up controversy and challenge the traditional norms of the art world. His ability to create thought-provoking pieces in unexpected locations has garnered both admiration and criticism. While his unauthorized murals and unannounced exhibits may be seen as acts of vandalism by some, they are powerful statements that force us to question the boundaries of art and its place in society. Banksy’s ability to generate attention and draw crowds speaks to the impact of his work and the intrigue surrounding his anonymity. It also plays into the intersection between art and crime, and shows how crime can be considered more acceptable when associated with art.

  4. Hello!

    I think this particular exhibition from Banksy leaves the question: do the ends justify the means? I also think that that question will have a different answer depending on who answers it. The painted elephant was supposed to be a metaphor for the “elephant in the room” situations of poverty, lack of access to clean water, and global illness. These topics are certainly important, and people should definitely be educated on public health and the crises that face it. However, does this method of essentially shocking and shaming the viewer into caring about humanity work? And does it justify using animals to reach that end?

    I can’t really make that decision for you, and I think it should be a discussion (a civil discussion) amongst people of varying opinions. However, this method of education is certainly not the only method by which people can learn about public crises.

  5. Banksy is an interesting person to me because he gets away with technically illegal acts due to the fact that his artwork is pleasing to the eye. I love his work and always has huge statement pieces that bring in all sorts of attention. It makes me wonder if other artists were to try and follow Banksy’s methods, if they would get the same leniency with the law. I also am curious if Banksy will forever stay anonymous, reveal his identity, or get caught during one of his installments.

  6. Banksy is an interesting person to me because he gets away with technically illegal crimes due to the fact that his art is pleasing to the eye. However, I do love his work and every piece of his is a huge statement piece that brings in all sorts of attention. It makes me wonder if other artists were to try and copy the methods Banksy used, if they would get the same leniency from the law. I also wonder if Banksy will forever stay anonymous, reveal his identity, or get caught during one of his installations.

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