political art is propaganda

Banksy

Google political art and this is the first thing you find. This is weak art. It doesn’t stand alone. It needs a caption.

I’m guessing Banksy is rich but I don’t know enough about him. Is he putting his money where his mouth is? Is he a philanthropist helping the marginalized people? I know if I had a ton of money I’d help the veterans who are struggling. I see them. I feel for them.

Will art like this change society? Do you think it’s possible to change society with a catchy slogan? I doubt it. I guess its possible to change yourself but did you ever try to change someone else? Am I right to think this art is only benefitting the guy who sells the posters? Please feel free to enlighten me if I’m wrong.

What if you feel ok with yourself? Would this make you want to change? Is the homeless veteran problem my fault? I don’t think so. Is poverty my fault? Is racism my fault? No. How can I change to make those things go away?

This is the kind of art that doesn’t last very long. It might be saved somehow even if it’s outside on a wall in the weather. Someone might put it in a museum but when this era is past it could go into a warehouse with all the other bad political propaganda art.

21 thoughts on “political art is propaganda”

  1. The “art” is not about the homeless veteran, it is about government’s intention to take away legally owned firearms. The irony is veterans would be the very last people government would have the nerve to go after. It would be a bloodbath. When you have PTSD, your firearm makes you feel safe and there are few cases of veterans going crazy and shooting a lot of people. I guess if the homeless guy endorses handing over firearms then it must be a good thing! Everything will change! I will have a penthouse on Park Avenue! It reminds me of the old cigarette ads with the blonde, tan, handsome “James Bond” guy on the deck of a yacht, with the bond girls in bikinis all smiling and smoking as if to say, “Smoking makes you cool and if you’re cool you get a life like this!” Lies.

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  2. Considering that Banksy is a Brit, it’s probably unlikely that this particular piece of work is about veterans and taking away their guns. That’s an American construct, and in my opinion just goes to show how anyone anywhere can put their personal interpretation on his graffiti (yes, that’s what it is) art. Which is a good thing—also in my opinion. Here’s a short but informative article about how little we know about the elusive Banksy: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51504255

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    1. I think the gun idea came from the text being not very legible. Coins could be misread as guns. They might have a problem with vets on the street over there, I don’t know. It’s not easy to tell the vets from the drug addicts here. I said vets because I’m afraid to give money to the addicts. I don’t want to contribute to an overdose. Yeah, the art viewer’s interpretation is the correct one is what I was taught, even if it isn’t what the artist intended. Thanks for the info, Alli!

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      1. Newshound that I am, I had a completely different take on it. To me, it was a Muslim person seeking equal treatment for Muslim and other minorities who are immigrants or descended from immigrants from former British colonies. They get shunted off in minority neighborhoods and discriminated against in employment just like here. The mayor of London happens to be a Muslim from a Pakistani family in London. Even he is subject to racism from time to time despite being very popular as a mayor. So the coin reference to me said “we don’t want handouts” and the we want change meant “we want equality and equal opportunity”

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      2. That makes sense. Muslims are marginalized too. I can also see how an American might think it’s about guns considering all our shootings. I don’t know where this graffiti is. I think he did some in the US, but I don’t know where. That could be a clue to Banksy’s meaning. Thanks for your thoughts!

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      3. I clicked on it. Thanks! Yeah, homeless people, very sad. If the T shirt and poster money isn’t going to help them I’ll be mad but I’m not a socially active person so I don’t see what I can change for them. Do you think this inspires people to become activists for the homeless or give money? Where is our govt.? They have abandoned the vets after using them and messing them up. Big Pharma is being forced to pay for the opiate crisis and there is probably some overlap with vets and drugs. I don’t know the facts.

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  3. Art has always been political, I think Banksy’s stuff, like anything else, is better without the slogan, though occasionally words help focus the mind. In this case the vastly different interpretations of the words, informed by the viewers eye and personal response to the image is telling, However, this piece wouldn’t work without the slogan, though ‘change accepted’ might have been a better one. Political art can be subtle, and much of it is in the Canon because it’s also good art. As to why, the artist throws a mirror up to their world, which is both beautiful and nasty. In painting the world, what we include and reference is an expression of our selves, it is the language with which we describe our reality, and our choice of subject is informed by what we want to communicate about how we feel living in it. An empathetic response is still an emotion, in political art it’s just less abstracted. My thoughts anyway, and thank you for the likes 🙂

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