Art — April 17, 2010
Banksy – modern day Street artist expresses himself
“So little to say . . . and so much time”. A classic Banksy point of view and perhaps an apt characterization of the great Banksy creed or perhaps just a token from the man who is a mere figment of our imagination. Street art is enforcibly ‘vandalism,’ and truly an ephemeral, fleeting, flitting, fly-by-night operation, frequently removed mere hours after its creation.
So documenting it might be considered of great value, since the captured images really become the ‘provenance’ for the now absent pieces. . . With that in mind, what is Art today? Has Art in this century been usurped, the printed word nullified, communications become inane, are we all dumbed down or just all hyped up? Is art anything more than Narcissus looking into the pond? Street art has ‘traditionally’ been about the expression of political messages and manifestos. Not just for the last the past 40 years, perhaps it could be said that when Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the cathedral door at Wittenberg in the sixteenth century, as a public manifesto, it might be deemed a form of street art! Certainly it was so incendiary a posting, that within 2 weeks by virtue of using the prevailing technology, namely the newly invented printing press, copies of his manifesto spread throughout Germany and within two months, all of Europe. Likewise, Banksy’s work, within minutes or hours of its creation will be spread around the world by today’s prevailing technology, the Internet and YouTube videos!
There is a charisma to street art, somewhere at the core of its ideology is its opposition to the establishment of ‘gallery’ art, as Banksy is prone to say, ‘the art world is like a retirement home for the privileged, pretentious and the fuckin’ bored.” And relative to his own imagery? “You see something you supply the meaning . . . seeing is believing, you are the seer, and the seeing, and the seen.”
So for Banksy perhaps it’s not so much the myth of Narcissus looking in the pond, but more like a through-the-looking-glass reverie. Banksy was recently involved in the making of the documentary (perhaps the mocumentary), “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. The film explores art, politics, galleries, value, repetition, the incestuous character of the “art world” and Banksy himself as phenomenal phenomenon. When asked what the title of the documentary means? “I don’t know what it means,” Bansky said, “maybe it means art is a bit of a joke.” He said making the film was “an all-consuming process, and my vandalism has certainly suffered as a result.”
It was said that Banksy was “involved in the smallest little detail of every aspect of the production and of the marketing of the film.” When asked whether a film that takes shots at the commercialization of street art would devalue his own work, Banksy wrote: “It seemed fitting that a film questioning the art world was paid for with proceeds directly from the art world. Maybe it should have been called ‘Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You.’ ” -The Blue Ok
This book is a collection of Britain’s most wanted artist. Banksy. Artistic genius, political activist, painter and decorator, mythic legend or notorious graffiti artist? The work of Banksy is unmistakable (except maybe when it’s squatting in the New York’s Metropolitan Museum or Museum of Modern Art.) Banksy is responsible for decorating the streets, walls, bridges and zoos of towns and cites throughout the world. His identity remains unknown, but his work is prolific. And now for the first time, he’s put together the best of his work—old and new—in a fully illustrated color volume. A visual feast. A coffee table masterpiece. Highly recommended!