After Christina Aguilera bought an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two prints for £25,000, on 19 October 2006, a set of Kate Moss paintings sold in Sotheby's London for £50,400, setting an auction record for Banksy's work. The six silk-screen prints, featuring the model painted in the style of Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe pictures, sold for five times their estimated value. Their stencil of a green Mona Lisa with real paint dripping from her eyes sold for £57,600 at the same auction. In December, journalist Max Foster coined the phrase, "the Banksy effect", to illustrate how interest in other street artists was growing on the back of Banksy's success.
Murals are important in that they bring art into the public sphere. Due to the size, cost, and work involved in creating a mural, muralists must often be commissioned by a sponsor. Often it is the local government or a business, but many murals have been paid for with grants of patronage. For artists, their work gets a wide audience who otherwise might not set foot in an art gallery. A city benefits by the beauty of a work of art.
It is also common for mural graffiti be used as a memoir. In the book "Somebody Told Me," Rick Bragg writes about a series of communities, mainly located in New York, that have walls dedicated to the people who died. These memorials, both written word and mural style, provide the deceased to be present in the communities in which they lived. Bragg states that the "murals have woven themselves in the fabric of the neighborhoods, and the city." These memorials remind people of the deaths caused by inner city violence.
The church of Saint Jean Baptiste was restored in 1954 and the 15th century carvings on its corbels were then highlighted in paint. The choir and belfry are now listed monuments. The new church of Notre-Dame des Sables was opened in 1886 on the marketplace of the beach quarter. Its seating for 1,500 was to cater principally for holiday makers in season and the patients from the many medical establishments profiting from the sea air. There are paintings on the choir walls.
There exists a debate about the influence behind his work. Some critics claim Banksy was influenced by musician and graffiti artist 3D. Another source credits the artist's work to resemble that of French graffiti artist called Blek le Rat. It is said that Banksy was inspired by their use of stencils, later taking this visual style and transforming it through modern political and social pieces.
The Mexican mural movement in the 1930s brought a new prominence to murals as a social and political tool. Diego Rivera, José Orozco and David Siqueiros were the most famous artists of the movement. Between 1932 and 1940, Rivera also painted murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1933, he completed a famous series of twenty-seven fresco panels entitled Detroit Industry on the walls of an inner court at the Detroit Institute of Arts. During the McCarthyism of the 1950s, a large sign was placed in the courtyard defending the artistic merit of the murals while attacking his politics as "detestable."
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Visionary Builders – A tribute to Sanford’s early African American leaders, this mural features W.B. Wicker and Link Boykin. Wicker (left) was a beloved educator who served as the first principal of the South Sanford Graded School. Boykin (right) was a prominent builder and business owner in the 1900s. He is responsible for many of Sanford’s historic buildings and homes.
In spring 2019, students from The MIT Borderline Mural Project participated in the painting and augmented reality development for a mural in the Suffolk County South Bay House of Corrections. The project is a collaboration between The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and several groups at MIT, including Music and Theater Arts, The Educational Justice Institute (TEJI), and Arts at MIT. Funding for was provided by the MIT Office of the Vice Chancellor and The Council for the Arts at MIT. Pioneered and produced by Co-director of TEJI Carole Cafferty, SCSD Teaching Artist Peggy Rambach and SCSD Director of Women’s Programming Christina Ruccio, the project was also made possible through the leadership of Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and Superintendent Yolanda Smith. The January IAP painting workshop was directed and taught by Sara Brown, Senior Lecturer with MIT Music and Theater Arts. Organization and student engagement were conducted by Sam Magee, Manager of Student Programs for the Arts at MIT.
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Banky W: I think as an artist you evolve throughout the years and are not doing the same thing over and over again. I think with evolution and trying to evolve you just try to retain your core and remain true to yourself and I hopefully think that's what I've tried to do. I like to see myself as someone who has evolved and grown but is still true to who he is.
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