Every minute we constantly perceive then distinguish everything that we look at, almost always subconsciously. Usually all of this is completely decipherable, however, these are day to day items we know. Art, in particular, street art is a way to express yourself, or represent something to the audience in a creative fashion. One of the most prominent social commentaries in the world right now is street artist(s) Banksy. (For my own sake I will refer to Banksy as a he from now on). The cover sheet for this blog is arguably Banksy’s most renowned, a satirical piece that plays on violence and riots present at the time of creation.
Banksy is famous for lampooning the very audience that he is supposed to be appealing to, but it works; in a strange uneasy and yet satisfying way.
The piece ‘Mobile Lovers’ (left) is one that appeared in Bristol, UK, on the 14th of April 2014. Banksy posted an image of the artwork on his website and allowed his loyal followers to perform a treasure hunt of sorts, a day later the piece was discovered.
A man and a woman embracing each other tightly, their faces gleam manifesting the love and compassion for one another. However, that light is produced by their smartphones situated directly behind each mobile lovers head. Feelings of evil, mystery and extreme negativity are conveyed through the dead black backdrop.While, the white faces of the individuals represent innocence, although it is illuminated artificially so it could be deemed fraudulent. The phones, the major icon evident here, are almost sucking the very life from the individuals.
Banksy’s work relies heavily on social commentary and without the surrounding social circumstances it is nearly impossible to understand. The ‘Mobile Lovers’ piece works because every smart phone using individual has felt controlled by it at one point or another. The work is also a comment on itself, where Banksy relies on technology to display and spread his art to a wider audience.
This piece is a frightening reenactment of what 21st century romance has become, a swirling spiral of imaginary social perception swallowing non-fictional passion.