The provoking, political conscious, and satirical artwork of the anonymous, British artist, Banksy, did not fall short of capturing the attention of viewers as his work shocked many by self destructing in front of their eyes. Just a few days ago, Banksy’s famous painting, “Girl With Balloon”, sold for 1.4 million dollars. Shortly after being auctioned, in front of all viewers, the painting began to shred itself while still hanging on the wall. Shockingly the audience could do nothing but stare in amazement, confusion, and awe. Banksy had a shredder built into the frame of the painting, just waiting for the moment that it would be sold in order to activate the self destruction. Reflecting on the incident Banksy posted a video capturing the event to his Instagram, with the caption ‘“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge’ -Picasso”.

In my opinion, given that Banksy’s artwork often exposes his activist view on current issues that exist in the world, I believe this painting provided a strong message as well. I believe Banksy is highlighting that in order to have a more creative, diverse, and accepting view on life and political situations, one must strip away and destroy the current hate. The entire picture did not self destruct, instead it stopped shredding leaving just the heart shaped balloon untouched. In order to bring more love into the world, one must deface the current norms. By having the painting self destruct, Banksy is calling out viewers to take their own, personal stand against hate. He wants people to not sit back and to instead take charge of diminishing the hate that currently exists.

Examples of current issues that Banksy has incorporated into his other pieces include, immigration, a corrupt government, global warming, consumerism, and many other controversies. Banksy uses art as a platform for portraying his view on present affairs. He aims to arouse his viewers to take action as well.

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Olivia Regalia

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