Thanks to Dominique Poncin for a wonderful quote from Banksy:
That’s a smug load of bull.
A. Banksy courts the art world, he just does. He has exhibitions, his artwork is bought by celebrities etc
B. It’s not very subversive. No one is actually “shocked” or “provoked” by Banksy’s artwork. The only subversive element of his work is that he does it semi-illegally on walls (I say “semi”-illegally because whenever he is moved to bless us with a new one, the authorities don’t paint over them, they celebrate them. You’re probably more likely to be arrested for painting *over* a Banksy then he would for painting it).
C. His images aren’t really saying anything. Lowest-common-denominator graphic design pieces which are at best half decent visual puns and at worst embarrassingly juvenile Rage Against The Machine assessments of modern society. Policeman suck, so does capitalism, there’s too much CCTV these days and, um, square office workers are lame etc etc.
D. My biggest criticism of it is that it lacks beauty. Of any kind. It’s vulgar and ugly, and is so steeped in a visual aesthetic that is radically dying out that it is beginning to look incredibly dated. I concede that it may not be intended to appeal to me visually but if the work’s sole purpose is as social commentary then I can’t engage with it as “art”, and – as I find the social commentary totally banal – I can’t see the point in it existing whatsoever.
E. Finally, what is he talking about? Advertising is not full of bright, creative OR ambitious young people. It’s full of spineless shape-shifters who can’t see past the end of their noses and, oddly enough, are exactly the type of people who love Banksy.
A. Because Banksy sells his work is it bs? Okay so you can’t be subversive and want to make a living? Is it his fault celebrities think he’s cool?
B. There’s nothing semi-illegal about what he does, its illegal, and theres a reason he’s anonymous to the public; because there are enough people who don’t like his work, do paint over it, and would love to slap him with a warrant.
C. Considering how complacent everyone has become with authority figures and what they let people in power get away with, simplistic messages are not just effective but necessary. Maybe when people say no more to CCTV he wouldn’t have to pick on it. Don’t blame him for not being deep enough, blame our society for being so shallow.
D. Art doesn’t have to be beautiful in order for it to be art. If you want to judge art, do it like this: What was the intent and how well was that intent executed. That way you judge things fairly that don’t appeal to your own aesthetics.
E. The advertising industry doesn’t attract the best and brightest? If you have a talent for art but like steady income, what else can you do besides be a shill for corporations and make their products look edgy and cool. It takes a lot of talent and time to make all the motion graphics, billboards, and adverts all to sell people things they don’t need. It’s hard to believe that someone can actually miss the entire point of the quote and not realize that instead of working on actual art that comes from inside them and not from a target demographic, graphic designers are the biggest waste of artistic talent there is—and its all thanks to the advertising industry.
Personally Johnny, I find your rhetoric smug and inconceivably haughty. You have penchant of a bored art critic.
Wether banksy is subversive or not this day and age is missing the point entirely. You are failing to understand the dynamics of culture and what it takes for successful counter culture icons to be absorbed into the mainstream. He may be part of the the movement now, but that was not the always the case, as you can certainly agree. The fact his work rose from media that is not established and most times penalized, creating such strong empathy with the audience should be aplauded.
If you find the message or the aesthetics deplorable or generic, then please enlighten us with something more original or worthy of our time. Where can we see your work? You may hate something on aesthetic terms, but as far as message and content is concerned, it seems to ring a bell with many people. That alone is obviously not an indicator of anything these days, except his work is not really meant for the masses. It was never created to please anybody, except probably himself. The fact many people sympathized with it only means his ‘idle cry in the dark’ found welcoming ears. It’s dada, it’s punk, it’s honest, and humbling. The beauty is found not in the technique, but in the realization there is a counter-culture that should be our main culture and aggrandizing his work is acknowledging society has faults and mistake and we are willing to examine them. To me message speaks a lot more loudly than aesthetic alone…
But hey, i’m a creative copywriter, i can’t see further than the bills I have to pay every month, and the loan I had to take to pay for college. Incredibly enough, for loony people this just makes sense, knowing full well we are contributing to decay of society. The total commercialization of our souls. So, you’ll understand when someone like Banksy puts out work, it amuses us. Because, we have a sense of humor. You should get one too…
Johnny is an idiot.
the exact type of person banksy hates.
wow you guys are really taking this too far. you have my respect for standing up for what you believe is right. get inspired NOT PEED OFF.
and none of this “banksy says”
and “you’re the type banksy hates”
yea banksy’s work is amazing. and he’s also the reason i am who i am today.
but you dont need to make him seem like a god :P
I find this statement pretty articulate. Fame in lots of ways is a tragic pitfall to artists trying to relay their frustrations with our consumer culture and the disconnect we suffer from over egotism. It is also tragic that this egotism leads people to extremes. This statement is of opinion. We all justify how we live. The more hostile our reactions the larger issues we have with our own existence and our relationship with world we are shamefully connected to.
I love Banksy – He inspires me however I think there is a deeper truth that is more important and needs just as much debate.
Never before in human history have creative, bright and ambitious people had more opportunity to sidestep the corporate machine and make a great living on their own terms.
The internet has democratised all of the tools that used to be reserved for big industry. Production, Distribution, Media, Communications. All are now easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection – and heaps are free.
Google. Youtube. Facebook. Skype. Wikileaks. Alibaba. Amazon. Ebay.
Anyone ‘selling out’ these days is simply not thinking. Anyone still attracted to big advertising agencies is either asleep or a drone and any art I am missing out on from someone who has such a weak will is of no great consequence.
viva the renascence
and lets forget, this is a very narrow minded view because it assumes that advertising is unfavorable; in some cases it is. In others, it is precisely what we need to sell to the masses the truth.
Banksy has a point the avrage creative mind is not atempting to break into the art world since the pay sucks and there is pressure to become something and have a respectable job
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