Banksy & Street Style Photography

Banksy & Street Style Photography


You know, I think it was shortly after Banksy, the now famous English graffiti artist, started to make a name for himself that street style photography started doing the same for itself.  Given, Bill Cunningham has been doing street style for decades but the new breed of street photographers took things to a new level, much like Banksy did for graffiti.

Now, all other things equal (ie. ceteris paribus), I want to focus on the timing of these two things.  They did not happen over night, but instead over time.  Banksy came first, he started making a name for himself in the early 2000’s.  Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) didn’t come around till late 2005 and subsequent to Schuman’s arrival countless other street style photographers have entered the scene.

I would like to put out a working hypothesis on the connection between the two events.  But likely they are not connected at all.  I am guessing I am not the first person to think of this connection, but nonetheless, it is interesting to think about.  Anyway, I propose the following…

Banksy influenced cultural tastes in a way that helped pave the way for street style photography to emerge as a recognized art (and profession for that matter).  Essentially, Banksy proved that something that lived in the streets (graffiti), something that was public (by public I mean for anyone to see) could be accepted by the masses.  Whereas in the past art has largely started in the private sphere (studios, galleries and museums).  Now, look at style and fashion.  Historically, it has also started in the private sphere (namely, in designers studios only to be unveiled at fashion shows).  Well, we all know how much that dynamic is changing, in part due to street style photography.  This certainly wouldn’t be the first time art has influenced fashion…

PS – to see more of Banksy’s work, check out his Artsy page here.