Banksy, CAVEMAN WITH FAST FOOD
Author: Banksy (identity hidden)
Painting: Caveman with fast food, L.A. California
Year: before 2008
Technique: colour in spray on wall, stencil, 150 cm
● the painting shows an ordinary caveman, 160cm tall, without clothes, holding the typical gear of that time (probably because of, like shown in the movie “Odysseus in space 2001” it is thought that the typical, gear / tool of that period was a bone, which is not necessarily incorrect but paleontologists presume the first gear/tool was not a bone but a stone axe.)
● the painting is done as graffiti on a wall. The author used a stencil to paint it a stencil is commonly used for graffities because it makes the painting process faster, and speed is important in graffities, since they are often considered not art but vandalism.
● colour of the wall is white. Colours of the painting are white, black, light oker (colour of the skin). Very intensely shading emphasizes the space around the central figure, but there is no real depth in the painting, which is not important here.
● In his right hand the caveman holds a tray with fast food, colored in black. According to the outlines / contours (and according to personal experience) one can assume that the food items on the tray are french fries, hamburger and a milkshake in a sequence from left to right. There is no personality on the man’s face which makes it clear that it is not a portrait. The drawing shows a common, faceless caveman. The drawing is without many details, although the technique with a stencil is brought to perfection even tiny details are visible.
● the drawing is a provocation, as is everything else made under the pseudonym “Banksy”. To choose graffiti as technique is provocation by itself since in most countries graffities are considered rather vandalism than art. This is kind of a subversive art. Banksy may be today one of the best graffiti artists in the world, the public never knowing who he really is.His topics are mostly political, anti globalization, anti capitalist, anti war. Only sometimes his work depicts everyday life. He uses a lot of humor in his art, which can be seen in the caveman, too. The caveman holds the tray with fast food, looking very indifferent to what he does. Banksy wants to provoke his audience by blending two non compatible ways of life, two periods of time. He makes us wonder whether our way of life is correct or not and questions the existence of humans, our role in life, who we really are, etc.