Anarchist and Mother

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In 2009, an art exhibition styled “Banksy Versus Bristol Museum” ran for more than ten weeks. On the last day, crowds waited for more than six hours just to view his street art. One of the many Banksy creations displayed was “Don’t Forget Your Scarf Dear”. It may not be as avant-garde or as subversive as many of the pieces displayed, but its simplicity belies the deep satirical thought it portrays.

The piece is done like an old portrait on an antique frame. The background is a warm light brown while the two people, an anarchist and mother, are shown in cool bluish light green. The woman is depicted as straightening her sons bright red scarf, the pieces only splash of vivid color. She is a typical soft, concerned motherly figure with white apron and thick dark-rimmed glasses. The son is not the typical clean-cut, straight-laced youth one would expect. Instead, he is a dangerous-looking, revolution-flag toting youth complete with leather jacket, chains, and spiky Mohawk hairstyle.

The picture expresses in artistic language the kind of acceptance a child should receive from a parent. It emphasizes the ideal that a child should be accepted for what he or she is and not based on the way the child conforms to society’s norms. This message is hammered home by the subversive nature of the art.

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