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Follow Your Dreams – Cancelled, 2010


Follow Your Dreams –  Cancelled


Follow Your Dreams – Cancelled

Year: 2010
Location:  Chinatown, Boston, USA
Follow Your Dreams is one of the earliest murals Banksy realized in the US. It depicts a man holding a brush and bucket stood by a handprinted sign saying FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS” This slogan which is a dark grey along with the man, had a red stamp over it reading “CANCELLED”.
“Follow Your Dreams” is a popular axiom calling people to action and alluding to the American Dream. However, the protagonist in the painting added the word “Cancelled” on the statement. Depicted as a lower-middle class man, he conveys an unsatisfied expression, and seems to be disillusioned. Banksy intentionally drew this despaired-looking old man to point out the severity of the political and economic environment and the impact it can have on the celebrated American Dream. Sometimes, the dream is cancelled, reality has struck hard.
The location also appears to be carefully chosen by Banksy as this mural was realized in a low-poverty section of Chinatown, in Boston. This area is known to have some low-income and under-privileged areas, obviously less likely to reach, let alone follow their dreams, due to money shortage, and other obstacles they face daily.
The viewer cannot omit that this “painter” bears some resemblance with Pablo Picasso, who is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century whose life could also be considered as a “dream”. More widely, in a more positive note, this visual might illustrate the fact that even though society or anybody would tag “cancelled”, that should not prevent anyone to pursue their dream freely…