Banksy, one the most well known street artist didn’t finished to amazed us. He decided to overthrown the codes of street art by selling his work. Traditionally you would find his work along the street, because what characterizes street art from another art is the fact that it won’t last and that an other graffiti will be recovering his drawing. It’s the rules of street.
The other astonishing fact is that since Banksy has began his activity he always remainded anynymous and nobody knows his real identity. We just know that he was born in Bristol (where we can find several of his work).As a street artist he is worldly acknowledged.
One of Banksy’s painting in Bristol
But he left his hometown to settle down in New York for his project “Better Out Than In”; he took his fans into a treasure hunting all around the big apple streets. He draws on the wall and then posts a picture of his work upon his blog and people take pleasure to find the place in the city.To make the buzz he set up a stall in New York Central Park, where original and signed canvasses of his painting were sold for 60 dollars each (around £38). Usually his work is estimated to be worth up to £20,000 each. He didn’t tell a word to anyone, he just posted a video on his blog with the simple legend : “Please note: This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today” .
The video of the stall he put on his blog
Though the old man, settled his stall from 11 am he made his first sale at 3.30 pm : a woman bought 2 canvasses after negotiating a 50% discount as well a New Zealander .To thank her the old man gave him a kiss on the cheek. The last buyer was a man from Chicago who needed something “only to decorate the walls” of the new house he just acquired. At 6pm the graybeard packs up his stuff, he earned 420 dollars.
A lot of people have been traveling around Bristol or New York especially to gaze at his work,his videos have been watched by millions of people all around the world (more that 5 millions people have already watched the video of the sale). Despite this worldwide succes only 3 persons stopped at the stall and bought canvasses. We could wonder if when people buy painting they are rather buying the signature that is on it.
This story reminds me of a experience made by the Washington Post in 2007. In Washington’s underground a man starts playing the violin : 45 minutes and 6 pieces of Bach performed with excellence, talent and grace. As the performance took place during rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people cross the station, most of them were on their way to work.
The video of the talented violinist entitled Stop and hear the music
Only a man recognized that the street musician was in reality a world famous violin virtuoso and gave him a 10 dollar note. An other one leant against the wall to listen to him but he looked at his watch and carry on walking. A woman throws a coin to the violinist without stopping by. Several children fell on the musician to admire him but all the parents (without exception) forced them to walk because they were in a hurry.
During the 45 minutes he played only 6 persons stopped by and stayed a while, 20 gave him some money and carry on walking. He received 32 dollars overall. When he finished to play nobody noticed and there was no standing ovation. In fact this musician playing anonymously was Joshua Bell,one of the best violinist in the world and the violin he was playing on was nothing but a stradivarius (a very rare violin worthing 3,5 millions of dollar) . Two days before he was to playing to a full house and the ticked were sold out for 100 dollars.
These surprising stories raises concern about people view on art in general and about how our world is evolving. Nowadays things are going faster and faster, and people don’t take necessarily take the time to appreciate what is going on around them.In the recent years, the world witness a fresh outbreak of lack of time that transformed our lifestyles. Fast food, frozen food sales have significantly increased. Because of the social networks we don’t take time to call or to drop a line to a friend anymore. New technologies (smartphones, tablet, laptop) are ruling our lives we became a connected society. Though all this thriving inventions helped us to improve our everyday life it, tends to make us miss the essential of what living is. What is the point of having everything if we can’t take advantage of it.
Art is everywhere, even though we don’t always pay attention we are surrounded by it. If we don’t see the music of one of the best musician on this globe what else are we missing? Can we recognize the talent by itself, for it’s own value? For what it really is ?
If we were a little bit less selfish and sensitive to the world we are living in, I’m sure we’ll be overwhelmed by the all beauty we can find on earth.