My friend’s brother just came back from London and I went over to see his pictures. As he was flipping through, he got to one of graffiti and said, “Do you know Banksy?” I knew he was the artist who made the infamous Obama poster, but I didn’t know the extent of his popularity.
I decided to do some research and shockingly, I found nothing on him. For someone so anonymously notorious, he has a very high profile. I became so obsessed with wanting to know more that when I heard there was a documentary about his life called “Exit through the Gift Shop”, I forced my friend to see it with me.
After seeing it, I truly feel that this movie should be shown to every advertising student, executive, and anyone else in the industry. Not only is Banksys identity NOT revealed, but you are somehow welcomed into his world. You feel a connection to a man you know nothing about. I don’t even know how he pulled it off, but you get a firsthand experience of his life without even knowing who he is or what he looks like. Banksy is brilliant in the way he showcases himself as well as his work. The curiosity build-up is so electrifying and enticing that people are addicted to wanting to know more.
Although he is infamous for his street art and installations, Banksy as a person is just as interesting. He makes a statement while remaining anonymous. He doesn’t let anyone know his identity, but leaves his trademark on every piece of art he produces; whether it is on the side of a building or at Disney Land. That’s what is so great about him. You never know what to expect and you are always surprised. It keeps people guessing and interested, always wanting to know more.
If only more advertisers used this technique to win over customers. Instead of the same, run of the mill ads, we need something that really makes a statement. Sometimes controversy is a good thing.