This piece was part of the Ánimo Voices Competition, which invited students to write about innovators, upstanders, visionaries, or rebels that have made a difference in their local or broader communities. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.
by Beatrice Caballero, 9th grade, Ánimo College Preparatory Academy
It doesn’t take a mastermind to change the world; it requires an opinion, someone who believes its right even if the law says otherwise. Last week, my Composition class learned about the famous graffiti artist, Banksy. I can honestly say he has opened my eyes, even if it was the slightest bit. Banksy sparked something in my head that has changed the way I view things. Some may have to think long and hard about the meaning of his pieces. Most times the purpose is right in your face but Banksy’s art puts this thought into your head, at times figuring it out is as simple as breathing, at other times it’s harder than learning a different language, but Banksy’s art is in some sort, a different style to me.
One reason Banksy has stood out from others is the way he is opening minds to think bigger and realize some things individuals ignore, the best part about this is the fact that in the process, Banksy has continued to be “breaking the law.” Knowing he is doing all these chaotic actions and spreading positivity all around makes it an exceeding phenomenon. All this just by spray painting an old bus.
There is this mural that he has created, located NYC that has a quote and it says “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” Next to the words is a man spray painted to portray the allusion that he is washing off that compelling message. To me, it made me think that maybe it is the meaning of karma. As a rule in heaven and hell, what you do in your life, whether it is good or bad, it will reflect in your later years and even after your death. Of course though, not everyone believes in heaven and hell. The man scrubbing off the words is the meaning of our surrounding companions, may it be our enemies, friends, and sometimes our parents. Everyone around you is going to be the reason for you to make an action that will echo for eternity, it can be a great thing to remember although nobody is perfect so not everything will be in a positive manner. I make mistakes, as do all and sundry and I know memories will collect countless of my mishaps.
Another reason Banksy took the spotlight is how, uniquely Banksy has exposed the media, the past, and the present bare to onlookers such as I. People watch as Banksy takes something as simple as police cruelty or animal cruelty to new heights. Banksy provides my character a push as to speak up for what I believe in and change the world myself.
Banksy has made an illustration of the one and only, Albert Einstein. In this work of art, Banksy has drawn Einstein consuming liquor with the words “Just google it” above him. It had me thinking how we have actual robots that act and feel like we do. The technology is only going to progress in intelligence, and before we know it, they will take over, but this piece is giving off the impression of how the human race no longer uses their brains, because why use our minds when we have Google, right? It is indeed a tragedy that some people think this way; I feel as if this is how we are reacting and adapting to these new electronics then it is inevitable to be controlled by our cellular device shortly. Banksy persuades me to use my brain just to process his work; Einstein is only additional motivation.
Thought that was all? Banksy has proceeded to remain anonymous, this brilliant mind is not at all worried about the money that he would easy profit off of but the eyes he would open. It only makes his art more intriguing with a hint of the mysterious vibe. It is like having a serious conversation with Banksy through each of his masterpieces, understanding these current issues that nobody cares what they are. When people think of graffiti artists, they automatically assume they are just punks trying to vandalize others property, but Banksy is nowhere close to that. Banksy is doing something scarce; changing the world for the better and as cliche, as it sounds, he is a hero without a cape.
Banksy has influenced me for the better, just indicating these ideas is displaying me to higher thoughts. Many of these subject matters that I did not even think I had the mentality to digest all of the thoughts that are swarming inside my skull. Banksy has amended my mindset, has made me glance at things more than once merely by painting a simple sketch on a homeless’ territory. For that, I am forever grateful.