Investigative Journalist Paper – Banksy’s Art


Different artists express and represent meanings and symbols in their artwork. There are various forms of art and regardless of the kind in question, dance, music, sculptures, carvings, paintings, theater, and architecture intensify and reflect significance values in society (Levinson, 2003).

In the current paper, the writer shall assume the role of an investigative journalist by using the internet to seek out various forms of artworks. Specifically, the writer shall focus on art that is not conventionally considered to be art.

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The writer has identified two specific works of art by Banksy and Damine Hirst.  For each of the two works, the writer shall endeavors to define the form of each of the identified works of art, whether is two-dimensional or three-dimensional, the materials used, the processes and techniques used in creating the artwork, colors used, the shape, texture, value, line, balance, and color of the artwork, its content, and whether the work is abstract, representational, or nonobjective.

Bansky’s art

 The first work of art is by Bansky. Bansky is a painter, film director and graffiti artists based in Bristol, UK.  Many critics have praised Banksy for his high level of creativity as evidenced by his artwork and although his artworks are neither popular art nor high art, on the other hand, they are meant for the masses (Robb, 2007).  He often includes such animals as rats, monkeys, soldiers, children, the elderly and policemen as his subjects.

He also utilizes the everyday common things like CCTC cameras and trolleys and combines them with superb scenery in a bid to improve the impact of his paintings. One of the most compelling graffiti paintings by Banksy is The Girl with the Balloon; this is by far his most popular piece of art.  One can find the graffiti on the London-based South Bank. This particular piece of work is two-dimensional.

The graffiti is to be found on a wall adjacent to a sidewalk. As pedestrians walk from right to left, they are able to see the words “There is always hope” before the picture of the little girl.  If you decide to walk from left to right, you first encounter the balloon, after which you see the girl and finally, the words.

This important print of a stencil has been transformed into the picture of a little girl who is trying to get hold of her heart balloon that is out of reach. In this case, the balloon represents care and love for others.

The freedom of the reader enables him/her to have a wide perspective of interpreting the artwork. The space that contains the volumes is contained “suggests thinking about width, depth, interval, and distance (Rose, 2007).  The spatial arrangement of the Girl holding the Red Balloon takes into account the perspective of the artwork.

Bansky has managed to draw a simple sketch that is on the same eye level with the readers mainly due to its location. Consequently, one is able to examine this artwork up-close.

 Investigative analysis

He has also used dimmed colors in order to come up with a weathered wall.  In this particular piece of artwork, just like all his works, Banksy combines graffiti, dark humor and political satire in a very distinctive stenciling technique.  He intends to use social and political satire in order to reach out to the crowd.  In this particular piece of art, the heart elicits imagery of love, youth, and literal, while the picture of the girl symbolizes simplicity and innocence. Everybody can relate to the images and as such, the Girl with A Balloon is an identifiable commodity.

Hirst’s art

The second piece of artwork is The Sex Pistols by Damien Hirst. Hirst is an English art collector, artist, and entrepreneur.  He gained popularity in the British art scene during the 1990s, when he was the most popular member of the Young British Artists (YBAs) (Jopling, 1991).  The Sex Pistols is a two-dimensional piece of art. His artwork can be found here: damienhirst.com.

In this piece of art, Hirst uses his painting skills as a way of helping people to examine and differentiate between myth, medicine, life and death. He has constructed medicine cabinets suing Formica, Glass, steel, MDF, aluminum sliding door locks, ramin, and pharmaceutical packaging. In developing the painting, Hirst noted that although we have medicines to cure people, eventually they shall have to die. He further states that although it is not possible to arrest decay, the medicine cabinets appears to suggest otherwise.

One is tempted to speculate that Hirst believes in the healing ability of art, which is why he was instrumental in the creation of this series. In the Sex Pistol artwork, Hirst has made use of medicine cabinet filled with drugs. These could be a sign of the healing nature of art (Wright, Jones & Wyatt, 2007).

On the other hand, some critics have suggested that the ‘Medicine Cabinets’ are symbolic of a political metaphor that represents how things should be, and orderliness.  Such a perspective would tempt one to view Hirst’s ‘Medicine Cabinets’ as a reflection of the perceptions of the British youth of their society in the 1970’s the Sex Pistols and the Bollocks were regarded as heavyweights in the music industry.

On the one hand, the ‘Medicine Cabinet’ is symbolic of an ideal society. Good organization is a central theme in the medical profession, including pharmacy. However, the destruction of death is beyond our imagination. Hirst has used the ‘Medicine Cabinets’ to symbolize, metaphorically, an ideal society that anybody would want to leave in.


Both Banksy and Damine Hirst have used different forms of art to mirror the diverse cultural heritage and diversity of a society. By examining the two artworks, one gets a feeling art can be used to symbolize important cultural values in society and in this case, individual experience is crucial in the interpretation of a piece of art.

Reference List

Jopling, J. (1991). Damien Hirst. London: Institute of Contemporary Art.

Levinson, J. (2003).  The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oxford: Oxford university Press.

Rose, G. (2007). Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials.

        London: Sage Publ.

Robb, J. (2007).  Punk Rock: an Oral History. London: Ebury Press.

Wright, S., Jones, R., & Wyatt, T. (2007). Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home. Bristol, UK:

Tangent Books.

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