[10/9/18] – Art and Mass Media

“In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes,” is a quote often attributed to artist Andy Warhol. While art can make you famous for an instant (in an instant), it can also have a lasting effect on society and culture. While there have been a few famed graffiti artists (e.g Jean-Michel Basquiat), for most, this art form has not traditionally been viewed as “fine art” or reached the same audience that more traditional forms of art have. This week we look at graffiti artist Banksy, his recent spectacle at London Sotheby’s, and explore the relationship between art and mass media or communication.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Art and Mass Media



Watch the moment the Banksy painting shreds itself.

Spray-painted subway cars, tagged bridges, mural-covered walls – graffiti pops up boldly throughout our cities. It turns out that it’s nothing new. Graffiti has been around for thousands of years and, across that span of time, it has raised the same questions we debate now: Is it art? Is it vandalism? Kelly Wall describes the history of graffiti in this video.



      • Writing: In what ways is art also communication? Use graffiti as an example.
      • Debate: Does graffiti art do something “wrong” when it defaces public spaces? Does this detract from its message?
      • Poll: Most of what Banksy does is use stencils to spray paints walls. Are they an artist? Yes or No
      • Short Answer: Did you hear about this Banksy drama before this lesson? If so, where?


Current Events Quiz

How much was the Banksy piece sold for?

      • Free to a children’s charity
      • $1.4 million
      • $1.9 million
      • $4.1 million

Banksy’s representative quoted Picasso, saying,

      • “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
      • “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
      • “Everything you can imagine is real.”
      • “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”

 Banksy’s remote control shredder operated after how long?

      • Eons
      • 16 years
      • 12 years
      • 2 years

 Graffiti tagging is often considered “mindless ___”?

      • Vandalism
      • Tedium
      • Low Art
      • As Saturday morning cartoons

 Graffiti has often served “as a form of communication, especially for ____?

    • Those who tried hardest
    • Those who did not hold an equal voice in society
    • Those who cried out loudest
    • Those with the most natural charisma

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