Banksy shocked the world with his controversial street art. This street art would display art about the political climate surrounding the area. There has been a great deal of effort to protect Banksy’s identity. His work is authenticated and he is treated like an artist.
However, at its core he is committing a crime. Street has been criminalized when it is convenient for people. When referring to Banksy people will call his art what it is: Art. Other artists, however, will be called criminals.
Both graffiti and street art are considered vandalism when they’re not commissioned. There is an entire culture surrounding street art and tagging. They are often rooted in political commentary. Communities have rules regarding both street art and graffiti. They must respect other artists and their art. They must also avoid getting caught.
Art is defined by the viewer. Street art is an accessible way for artists to display their work using a medium that is more accessible to lower income artists. Selective criminalization of street art is classist. When big artists create art illegally it is hailed as art and it’s protected. However, this is only the case with them. Should a new artist be caught they would penalized but someone like Banksy would be applauded.