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Banksy's Social Art Towards Ukraine (NOV 2022)

Banksy has been an advocate of Ukraine, by not only painting multiple advocate murals but also donating the money he gained from 50 screenprints. He's caused multiple acts of controversy by supporting Ukraine, but the unbothered artist continues to stand for what he believes in. Many people are now saying that "he is no longer making art" rather he is creating propaganda because he has chosen a side within the conflict. Although there are 3 confirmed artworks in Ukraine, I will be highlighting two that brought the most attention towards me.

On the right, is an image of a ballerina balancing on top of the broken buildings of Ukraine. I think it symbolizes the destruction that she stands on, and that her "balancing" represents the civilians, who were deliberately targeted, who are trying to balance their survival and normal livelihood. While the girl has legs on either side of the destruction, it represents the two sides of obliteration of their livelihood and how it's almost futile to attempt to balance on a rocky surface to be able to find peace once their life is destroyed.

The image to the left depicts a young boy flipping a man over in taekwondo. Speculations on the internet have come up with several theories: one being that the larger man is Putin/Russia, while the smaller is Ukraine. One commenter on Banksy's social media wrote that "the smaller boy represents how Ukraine attacked Russia first" while many others agree that the bigger man is Russia (due to Putin's obsession with taekwondo) and that he is getting flipped to the ground due to Ukraine's power and support that came from other countries. The mixed interpretation caused conflict among what Banksy truly wanted to highlight, along with whether Ukraine attacked Russia first. In my interpretation, I believe it to be the underdog finally getting a hand over the larger man, which in this case, would be Russia.

I wanted to highlight on why Banksy, is the most prominent social artist, and to me, this was one of the biggest exposures of his character and what he stands for. Banksy never fails to draw me in with his meanings, and he was part of the reason why I've created Art From Our World. I wanted to bring myself back to my roots of this blog, and focus on his most influential works.

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