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Banksy Choose Your Weapon Keith Haring Dog originally appeared in London, England, and this aspect of the print should not be overlooked by the casual viewer. The stark contrast between the man and his dog is the most striking contradiction in this art piece. In a city as expansive as London, which is replete with street art, contrast and shock appeal are a necessary component in order to capture the eye of the commoner.
The man in the art piece represents the disaffected youth that features so prominently in British pop culture. The hooded sweatshirt with the cowl covering the head and bandanna hiding the young man’s face both appear menacing. The black pants suggest dark intentions in the young man, but the casual hand-in-the-pocket posture of the figure in the art piece seems to suggest otherwise. To create contrast, the artist chose to paint the young man’s shoes white ” a suggestion of contemporary fashion that is not lost on the youth of London.
The dog in the print, chained and barking upwardly, becomes the young man’s weapon. Rather than a weapon such as a knife or firearm, this young man’s weapon is man’s best friend”, which is portrayed minimally and in dramatic contrast to the painting technique used on the young man. For this artist, his weapon is his street art.