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Critical Essay of a Painting by Bansky<br /> “Beach Boys” was painted by Banksy, who is one of the famous graffiti artists in the world. It was painted on the Palestinian side of the barrier wall in the Gaza Strip. ‘Beach Boys’ was created in 2005. Artists usually paint their pictures beautiful and colorful as they generally focus on the beautiful aspects of the painting. In “Beach Boys”, however, Banksy drew half of the painting with a single dark color. Therefore, at the first time when I saw the painting, I even thought that this painting was not completed. But when I looked closer at the painting, I was surprised at how clever the artist was to use the contrast and the irony in various aspects of the painting such as subjects, origin, and visual elements.<br /> ‘Beach Boys’ depicts two boys and utopian beach seen through the hole of the broken barrier. One of the boys has a white hair while another one has a black hair. Since blonde is a very rare hair color for the people in the Middle East, I assumed that the boy with white hair is actually wearing a headwear called turban, which Islamic people like Palestinians often wear. Then, I assumed that another boy with black hair is Israeli as black hair is common hair color for the Jews. People all know that Israelis and Palestinians have a severe conflict. Yet, two boys in the painting look so friendly. This gives an effect of irony, which ultimately emphasizes the message of the artist: The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians should be solved as soon as possible.<br /> The contrast is also shown in the medium of the painting. For the crack and the boys, the artist used the spray paints and stencils. This method is popularly used among the graffiti artists because it is quick and easy to draw on the wall. However, the utopian beach was probably painted with different method, which will take more time than using the spray paints and stencils. I think Banksy used different medium in each different object in the painting for two reasons. One reason is to emphasize the beautiful aspect of the utopian beach and another one is to tell that the solution to the conflict between two groups currently is hopeless.<br /> Banksy has used colors, position of the objects and background to create a sense of contrast and irony. The colors used in the utopian beach and those used in cracks and the boys are quite contrasting. A wide range of colors was used to paint the utopian beach, whereas only a single color was used to paint cracks and the boys. Moreover, the artist placed the boys outside of the broken wall. This implies that those boys are not in the utopian beach but they are hoping to go to the utopian beach as they are holding the sand bucket. The color contrast and the position of the objects effectively acknowledged me the sad and hopeless situation of the Middle East especially between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Lastly, the background also worked significantly in this painting. The background of this painting is the grey barrier wall. It is one of the main causes of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This gives ironic effects, since the artist used the main cause of the conflict to send the message to get rid of the conflict. Again, the Irony made the viewers clear to understand the message that Banksy was trying to tell.<br /> In conclusion, the painting generally uses the contrast and irony in various aspects such as subjects, medium and visual elements to emphasize its message. I think the painting was trying to show “the hopelessness of the current conflict of the barrier wall and necessity to solve the conflict as soon as possible”. I personally felt a great sympathy at the current situation in the Middle East and I even felt desperate to solve the conflict after looking at the painting. Thus, the painting was very successful in delivering the message of the artist.<br />