SFU

The procrastination was strong with this post. We went to the Simon Fraser University on October thirtieth (Read, 17 days ago), and I am only now uploading it. But at any rate, here it is!

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I headed off into this trip with a goal of finding more about the art form that my eminent person, Banksy, works in, which is of course Graffiti. There are a few books about him, but none that were available at the SFU library, so I was looking for more general reference information on graffiti, different styles, and in what ways Banksy is different.

There were a few photos taken that were relevant to this cause, but for the most part i retained what I read, I only wish I had taken photos of what I saw in one of the large reference books on graffiti.

Over the course of the trip I learnt about the graffiti styles from around the world, especially in France, which is where a large reference book I read was based around. These graffiti art pieces were often simpler than a lot of graffiti art that you may associate with the word. For example, it depicted a few pieces of ‘situational graffiti’ which were when art was based around something existing in the environment, for instance, two holes that were drilled into a stucco wall for no discernable reason, and an anonymous graffiti artist designed a basic face around this. This simple piece of art was believed to be at least seventy-five years old. The book was a photographic chronology of graffiti in Paris, and covered simplistic pieces such as the situational graffiti described above, to more modern day stencil art and ‘tagging’.

15055134193_199e517211_kI wasn’t supposed to be in this picture.

For me, the theme of this trip was blending in. On this trip, I felt deeply out of place, a group of over fifty teenagers in a university is like several teenage bulls in a very quiet china shop. We were noisy and took a lot of selfies (see above), and together I think we really did not fit into the environment of SFU. However, as we broke up I began to feel more in place. I like to think I look slightly older than I am, but I do not look like a university student, first year or otherwise. At any rate, as the group temporarily dissolved, I felt a lot less like a huge awkward group of people and more like integrated members of the community that SFU has created. I felt more productive and generally more comfortable when I was alone there.

From this trip, I think I can use my greater understanding of graffiti art to really appreciate what Banksy does and better understand him for when I go to write my speech. I enjoyed my day as a freshman, but honestly I don’t think that life is for me, at least not yet.

Eminent Person 2014 Intro Post – Banksy

I set into my Eminent Person 2014 project with a goal in mind, and that was to do this year with passion, ideally a lot more of that than last years. So for this reason, I’ve chosen someone who I frankly care a lot more about than my Eminent person last year – Jimmy Wong.

My Eminent person this year has one little twist, and that’s that no one actually knows he is.

Banksy, my eminent person this year, is a world famous graffiti artist operating in England. He is however, completely anonymous and despite his blatant displays of work on public walls and other spaces that have large regular traffic, has never been caught. Banksy is known for his contempt of government labeling graffiti as vandalism, and his work primarily involves satirical works on government, poverty, and social justice.

There is only a little information available about Banksy, most of it from the book Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home. According to the book, Banksy is a male born in 1974, he was born and raised in Bristol, and was the son of a photocopier technician. He was trained as a butcher, but became involved with graffiti during the ‘Great Bristol Aeresol Boom of the 1980’s’.

Bansky has never sold his work, although many auctioneers have sold the graffiti works to buyers, with some ‘pieces’ selling for as high as £30, 000. These deals are under questionable legality and the actual removal of the work before it is covered up or washed off by city workers is left to the buyer. To me, this shows Banksy is not interested in money, as he could easily be making a lot of bank (haha) off of these pieces, but chooses not to. I believe he is far more invested in the cause of spreading awareness of the issues he paints about than in the fame or money he has the potential to accrue as a result.

I am interested in studying Banksy, because becoming as eminent as he has without ever revealing his identity shows me he has a sort of humbleness that not every person of his stature might have at this point in their career. I respect that about him and find his views on issues interesting and similar to mine.

Because there is so little information on Banksy, I can’t draw many conclusions between the two of us besides our views on the world. He has painted images talking about public display of gay affection (See police picture above), poverty, first world versus third world, and much more.

Over the next few weeks, I will be going much more in-depth into the work of Banksy. My goals for the project are to go into the idea of being both eminent and anonymous, and modern eminence in a man who is still alive.