City Council Approved Vandalism
Not all of the guerrilla graffiti artist’s work is painted away or denounced, however. The city council of Bristol, Banksy’s rumored hometown, left the fate of one graffitied image to the voting public, of which 97% of online voters were in favor of keeping it. The politically sanctioned act of vandalism depicted a suited man peering out a window while his lingerie-clad, presumed wife stands behind him and her naked lover dangles by one hand off the window ledge. Though the city left the mural as a work of public art it was later vandalized with paint.
Breaking Down Barriers
On a visit to the Palestinian territories in 2005, Banksy left his mark on the West Bank “security barrier.” Though the works included seemingly banal images like a horse looking through a small window, a dotted cut-out box, and a child carrying a shovel and pale against a blue sky, the political message is more obvious in the image of a tropical beach that’s visible through a fake hole in the concrete, a ladder climbing over the wall, and the silhouette of a pigtailed girl being carried upwards by a cluster of balloons. Banksy later explained in a statement: “[the wall] essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison.”