Graffiti art gets graffitied: the latest on Banksy

The art world is in a panic since a Banksy mural in Gloucestershire, England was found vandalized. According to an August 1, 2014 report in the British publication The Guardian, locals saw a group of men driving off in a van after the mural was sprayed with silver and red paint. There is speculation the act is tied to political motives since the Banksy graffiti wall mural was about government surveillance.

“Everybody is just really, really upset,” Angela De Souza of the Save The Banksy committee told The Guardian. “We were worried about securing the piece but we didn’t expect an attack so soon. The Banksy is protected by anti-graffiti paint but we are in a race against time because the paint could seep through the layer of protection and ruin the artwork.”

Ironically, Banksy graffiti artist is an artist himself. He earned a reputation for creating street art that blends dark humor and satire with political and social commentary. By combining art with political activism, he has rubbed shoulders with everyone from Lady Gaga to President Barack Obama.

Although he keeps his identity a secret, Banksy openly speaks out against the British government for classifying graffiti as vandalism rather than as art. He is believed to be born in the early-to-mid-1970s in Bristol, England where the graffiti underground scene took off during the late 1980s.

Since then, Time magazine listed Banksy as one of world’s 100 most influential people in 2010. More recently, the 2014 Webby Awards named him person of the year. In addition to these accolades, Banksy is also a film director. He debuted his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and received a Best Documentary Oscar nomination for the film.

While Gloucestershire police search for clues about the recent vandals, those aspiring to be like Banksy can begin developing their craft by safely drawing on walls and garage doors pre-painted with Whiteyboard’s dry erase paint and other products. When budding graffiti artists use dry erase markers, their work can be wiped off to accommodate countless practice murals.

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