BANKSY’S STREET ART

Cette séquence pédagogique fait suite à l’étude de Nighthawks d’Edward Hopper.

OBJECTIFS : présenter un artiste anglais contemporain, exprimer une éventualité,   lire l’image, donner une opinion.

1. Les élèves comparent Nighthawks d’Edward Hopper (1942) et la parodie (subverted/modified painting) réalisée par Banksy (2005).

                     Afficher l'image en taille réelle

                     Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

                   

                   

                    Nighthawks by Banksy          

                     

NIGHTHAWKS BY Edward HOPPER

NIGHTHAWKS BY BANKSY

SCENERY

a street, a coffee bar

a street, a coffee bar

NUMBER OF CHARACTERS

four : three customers and a waiter

five : three customers, a waiter and an English football hooligan outside.

THE CHARACTERS’ ATTITUDE

None of the three customers is apparently looking or talking to the other but instead is lost in their own thoughts. Looking up from his work, the waiter appears to be peering out of the window past the customers.

They are all looking at the hooligan.

THE FIFTH CHARACTER

What does he look like ?

What has he just done ?

He is dressed only in his Union Jack underpants.

He is shaking his fist and looks threatening; he has just thrown two chairs through the window pane. It is cracked.

THE PAINTER’S MESSAGE

Hopper wants to show the loneliness of a large city, incommunicability, emptiness.

Banksy’s purpose is to subvert Hopper’s painting to show that violence is everywhere, anybody can be affected by violence.

Synthèse : expansion de phrases avec l’utilisation de whereas. Exemple : In Hopper’s painting there are four characters whereas in Banksy’s there are five.

2. A

FEW FACTS ABOUT BANKSY

Banksy is a well-known graffiti artist, who prefers to stay anonymous because graffiti is illegal in the

UK

, so there is uncertainty about his identity and biographical details. His real name may be Robert Banks.

He is believed to be born near

Bristol

and his year of birth has been given as 1974. He is said to be the son of a photocopier engineer. He probably trained as a butcher then started drawing graffiti during the late 1980s. His artwork, which combines graffiti with stencilling technique, soon appeared on walls and bridges throughout

London

and in cities around the world. It is assumed he uses computers to create the images in his stencils as they look very photorealistic. He also makes sculptures (The murdered phonebox), produces subverted paintings (E. Hopper’s Nighthawks) and stunts (for example, at

London

zoo, he climbed into the penguin cage and painted « We’re bored of fish » in enormous letters; he hung some of his humorous works in

New York

museums).

Steve Lazarides, who is Banksy’s agent, has a gallery in

London

’s

Soho

, where originals can be bought. 

Banksy has also self-published several books that contain photos of his art in various countries as well as some of his canvas work and exhibitions. Some of his works can be seen on his official website. In February 2007, Sotheby’s auction house in

London

sold three Banksy creations, reaching the highest ever price for a Banksy work at auction : over £ 102,000 for his Bombing Middle England.

VOCABULARY :

stencil : pochoir

stunt : cascade, ici : évènement provocant, réalisé à des fins publicitaires

canvas : toile

auction : enchères

Les élèves repèrent dans le texte les expressions évoquant l’éventualité, la possibilité, puis complètent la biographie supposée en réutilisant ces expressions :

- be 34 years old

- go to school in

Bristol

-not always observe the school discipline

-be good at art

-be very rich now

3. Look at some of his works and say what are his favourite themes, characters and animals. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment, or pro-freedom. Subjects include monkeys, rats, policemen, prisoners, soldiers, children …

Oeuvres à présenter aux élèves :

Anarchist rat; the Pulp Fiction killers; The Mild Mild West; Elephant painted pink and gold; Images on Israel’s West Bank barrier; Charles Manson in a prison suit 

4.« His artworks are often satirical pieces of art. » Give one example.

5. Controversy : classify these arguments for and against Banksy and his artwork.

ARGUMENTS FOR BANKSY

ARGUMENTS AGAINST BANKSY

1. A

journalist, who has interviewed him face-to-face, describes him as « a young man who showed up wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a silver tooth, silver chain, and one silver earring ».

2. Banksy’s parents think their son is a painter and decorator.

3. A

member of the organisation Keep Britain Tidy said : « We are concerned that Banksy’s street art glorifies what is essentially vandalism ».

4.Banksy gets paid for charity work (e.g., Greenpeace) and can demand up to £25,000 for canvases. This is why he has been accused of being careerist by other artists.

5. In

2003 in

a show, Banksy painted on animals and an animal rights association protested.

6. Brad Pitt said : « He does all this and he stays anonymous. I think that’s great. These days everyone is trying to be famous. He has anonymity. »

Imagine other arguments …

6. Production écrite : give your personal opinion about Banksy and his work.

I find Banksy friendly/unfriendly because … I like his art because … I can’t stand his art because …

original – subversive – shocking – provocative - stupid -  . . .