Who Is Banksy anyway? And what has he done for the art world?
Once upon a time if somebody asked you to name a popular artist you may have answered Vincent Van Gogh or perhaps even Rolf Harris. These days it is far more likely that a name like Banksy would roll off your tongue.
The sporadic and random appearance of the well-known stencil-style art works have created quite a following for this modern ‘street artist’. The recent auction stunt for a piece now titled ‘Shredded Girl with Balloon’ is testimony to how much value can be added to what some see as ‘impermanent’ works of art, with the print now thought to be worth more than double its £1m hammer price!
How is it possible for an artist to be so famous as to attract such value and yet still remain anonymous? There are many debates about the identity of Banksy but one thing everybody agrees upon is how he has made people of all walks of life stop and take notice of his work.
At one point artwork appearing on walls and buildings was simply referred to as graffiti and was bundled up with criminal references and usually frowned upon. Banksy has helped to change this and some street artists have been able to break away from their traditional canvas and turn instead to more portable surfaces, developing their style and their following.
‘Street art’ or ‘urban art’ as it is sometimes known, has attracted the eyes of many a collector, bringing bold and colourful elements to life.
The introduction of an edgy statement piece can really lift a modern space, and works well in homes and offices alike. A games room perhaps, with a few childhood heroes on the wall, or a ‘man-cave’ or home-office where there is the freedom to display a piece which is perhaps not in keeping with the rest of the house.
The trend grew, with more and more people actively looking for a wider range of artwork and something very different to what they had been offered before.
One such artist is JJ Adams, the self-styled rebellious son of Baptist preacher who was born in the UK but grew up in South Africa, heavily influenced by Derric van Rensburg who allowed JJ to spend a lot of time in his studio where the bright colours and graphic styles captured this young imagination.
Upon moving back to the UK JJ developed his artistry through many avenues including graphic design, sign-writing and as a highly regarded tattoo artist – a skill which is often shown in his work, with carefully styled ink designs appearing on a wide range of celebrity portraits including Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana and even Mary Poppins!.
So, from street art to contemporary gallery, here is just the briefest of histories on this fascinating topic! With subjects from the big screen to the big city and incorporating hairspray, hand-grenades and Sonic the Hedgehog, you can really understand how today’s artwork demonstrates that the possibilities truly are endless!
You can meet JJ Adams in person here at The Acorn Gallery on Saturday 23rd March 2019 from 1-3pm where a wide variety of limited edition prints and original artwork will be available for sale.