“He brings art to the streets in a way that very few artists do. People stop who don’t go into galleries, who don’t go into museums, and they look at Banksy. “
-Will Ellsworth-Jones, former Sunday Times chief correspondent and author of Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall.
Subject vs. Content Statement: Clacton-on-sea
In ‘Clacton-on-sea’ the artist Banksy, on a pale yellow wall, stenciled six birds. The birds are standing on a wire. Five of the birds are grey and black pigeons, four of which are facing a colorful bird whilst the fifth pigeon looks away. The pigeons are holding white banners suspended by wooden sticks with slogans that say ‘Migrants not welcome’, ‘Go back to Africa’ and ‘Keep Off Our Worms’ in grey block letters. To the left side of the piece is a migratory swallow bird colored green, blue and black leaning forward with its head turned back towards the five pigeons.
- A possibility for the artwork content of this piece could be that the artist seeks to highlight the unwelcoming nature of the immigration laws and citizens of the United Kingdom, whereby immigrants are often subjected to a second-class citizenship sort of lifestyle by skewed nationalist emphasis that with immigration the genesis of the facilitation of job loss, minimizing of resources and opportunities available to citizens, when in essence what drives people to immigrate is opportunity and that home is similar to the mouth of a gun with war-bitten buildings and what were once laughter-filled verandas embraced by loneliness.
- Another possibility is that the artist aims to communicate to the audience that despite being different, the bird is still a bird. Further solidifying the notion that no human being is truly illegal or an ‘alien’, but rather an inhabitant of earth just as those who spew anti-immigration remarks are.
An interesting fact about Banksy is that no one truly knows who Banksy is, the only confirmatory notion about this artist is that he/she is from Bristol, UK.