Satisfactory Essays
“A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves” – Banksy
On face value one would find it hard to connect the artists Banksy and Frida Kahlo, both in style and conceptuality. However, they share common threads. Our society is frightened of individuality, but Banksy and Kahlo both have the courage to display their inner self with brutal honesty. Both are controversial and confronting, they deal with the concept of polarity and focus on the great philosophical issues in society; their focuses are of life and death, wealth and poverty, gender roles, politics and sexuality in the context of sociocultural, personal, economical and spiritual issues. In Banksys’ Kissing Coppers he explores the polarity of gender roles within the context of sociocultural expectations whereas Kahlos’ My Birth is a very complex exploration of life and death in the context of personal and spirituality. Both artists are unflinching in their message, so anarchistic that neither would conform to the normal rules of the art world. Both Banksy and Frida Kahlo were self-taught artists, using unconventional styles, not dictated by fashion, social opinion or artistic criticism. I will be exploring the concept of polarity within the works of, Banksy’s ‘Kissing Coppers’ and Frida Kahlo’s ‘My Birth’.
‘I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality’ – Frida Kahlo
The painting is of a woman giving birth to a fully grown woman, which is a self-portrait of Kahlo herself. The woman’s face is covered with a sheet as she is led in bed with her legs spread. There is blood on the entirely white sheets secreting from the woman’s vagina around Kahlo’s head. On the wall behind the bedhead a small portrait of the Virgin Mary weepi...

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... now much copied, yet another example of polarity in modern society, the exploration of street art causes much debate over the polar opinions of anarchy and cultural. He has had his work exhibited in art galleries (kissing coppers has been removed, wall and all from the wall of the Albert Pub in Brighton to a gallery in New York) but they belong at their roots in their birth place, the streets.
Whilst Kahlo and Banksy have very different artist styles their attitude to their work was very similar. They are both political animals, unafraid of controversy and unafraid to show their humanity. Both My Birth and Kissing Coppers are brave and honest, their concept of polarity with a focus on the intimate aspects of life and death and gender roles in the context of our societies expectations shock and provoke thought and debate, as was always the artists shared intention.
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