Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Banksy is the most popular artist - or is he?

Banksy is the UK's favourite artist according to a poll.

But which poll?

The Guardian

I found the story in an article by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian
Banksy is the Brits’ favourite painter of all time - is this status deserved?  The secretive stenciller is no Rembrandt – but a new poll shows that ‘high art’ alienates the public more than any other cultural form
No it doesn't actually - but Jonathan never lets facts get in the way of a good diatribe!

It turned out he was referencing The Sun
According to a poll reported in the Sun, the secretive stenciller is “Brits’ favourite painter of all time ... beating greats such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Monet.”
Banksy official website - July 2019 - and no reaction to being the "Brits favourite painter"

The Sun

So I went to have a look at The Sun, thinking it's a very long time since I've seen The Sun interested in "Art"!!

Turns out in their article Banksy named as Britain’s favourite painter of all time in nationwide poll that they were referencing a poll in Homes and Antiques Magazine
More than 2,000 adults were asked to name their favourite painters or sculptor — and Banksy was the only living artist to make the top ten. Mel Sherwood, editor of Homes & Antiques magazine, said: “It is both surprising and exciting to see Banksy at the top of this poll.

Homes & Antiques Magazine Poll by YouGov

...and so finally I make it to Homes & Antiques Magazine (shame on you Jonathan Jones for not actually reading the Sun's article!)

 ...to find that they have something called The Art Issue 2019 and the poll was commissioned for that.

Their article Banksy named UK’s favourite artist of all time suggests that
Controversial street artist Banksy has been named the UK’s favourite artist of all time in a poll we conducted in conjunction with YouGov to celebrate the release of our annual Art Issue. The renowned artist took the lead over more traditional artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gough. 
The poll, of more than 2,000 UK adults, asked respondents to name their favourite artist of all time. The Top 20 features a range of artists including impressionists, sculptors, masters and painters from the 14th century right up to the modern day.
Their top 20 in the poll for Homes Antiques Magazine are
The UK’s top 20 favourite artists of all time:
  1. Banksy
  2. Claude Monet
  3. Vincent Van Gough
  4. John Constable
  5. Leonardo Da Vinci
  6. JMW Turner
  7. Picasso
  8. Salvador Dali
  9. LS Lowry (described as JS lowry in the article - which lets the side down somewhat)
  10. Michelangelo
  11. Rembrandt
  12. David Hockney
  13. Henry Moore
  14. Rodin
  15. Jack Vettriano (spelt incorrectly - as "Vetrianno" sic - in the article)
  16. Andy Warhol
  17. Caravaggio
  18. Degas
  19. Magritte
  20. Antony Gormley ( another incorrect spelling - as Anthony Gormley! Send that journalist to a spelling bee for artists!)
Banksy says little and what he does say he says on Instagram - but no response to the poll!

On the other hand.....if you go to YouGov

On the other hand if you go to YouGov site and plug in "art" as a search term you get a response for "The most Popular Artists in the UK" - which is a standing Poll on the YouGov site.

Sp presumably YouGov asked a very specific UK representative 2,000 people for the Poll for Home & Antiques Magazine to get banksy as the most popular artist liked by the Brits....

What is rather good about the poll is you can check out

  • popularity (most liked)
  • fame (heard of)
and then by specific groups
  • Millennials
  • Gen X
  • Baby Boomers
  • Men
  • Women
Turns out they all think pretty much the same - and Banksy keeps getting 4th place

If you look under "all" then you get

Leonardo da Vinci is the most popular artist and the 2nd most famous. Leonardo da Vinci is described by fans as: Genius, Brilliant, Ahead of the curve, Inspiring and Multi-talented.
Vincent van Gogh is the 2nd most popular artist and the most famous. Vincent van Gogh is described by fans as: Colourful, Distinctive style, Brilliant, Talented and Genius.
Michelangelo is the 3rd most popular artist and the 5th most famous. Michelangelo is described by fans as: Brilliant, Genius, Masterful, Timeless and Inspiring.
Banksy is the 4th most popular artist and the 4th most famous. Banksy is described by fans as: Clever, Thought-provoking, Brilliant, Imaginative and Creative.
Pablo Picasso is the 5th most popular artist and the 3rd most famous. Pablo Picasso is described by fans as: Brilliant, Genius, Complex, Groundbreaking and Thought-provoking.

My local Banksy - which I liked a lot - until some utter [expletive deleted] from the Council whitewashed it out...
So, bottom line - do not worry - Banksy is not going to make it into the Queen's gallery like Leonardo da Vinci any time soon! ;)

More of my posts about Banksy