Banksy

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Banksy

Postby Bev » March 5th, 2012, 2:55 pm

I wondered if anyone here has seen any Banksy graffiti in the UK. There was a documentary on the other day about street art, and Banksy was featured as probably the first graffiti artist to penetrate the art world. Apparently, his prints are worth millions now.

What do you think? Is he an artist, or just someone who should be arrested for vandalism?

Here are some examples of his street art.
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Re: Banksy

Postby Lyn » March 5th, 2012, 5:28 pm

Certainly not arrested for vandalism Bev! That has never occurred to me.
He's good though I've only ever seen his work on TV or in the newspaper. He brightens dim places up, he doesn't paint on people's garden walls.
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Re: Banksy

Postby Bev » March 5th, 2012, 9:12 pm

He did paint on the western wall in Israel. A news article featuring the artwork was entitled "West Banksy?" :D I think that was the one with the little girl being pulled up by balloons.

I'm not sure, but I think the phone booth was actually one that was stolen then reworked into art. He does seem to cross the line between art and the law.
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Re: Banksy

Postby Lyn » March 5th, 2012, 9:35 pm

Good for him, the law is often an ass. Anyway there's no proof of that. Banksy is generally admired over here, his artwork is quite original.
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Re: Banksy

Postby Bev » March 6th, 2012, 1:33 am

I have to agree about his artwork. From what I've seen, he's very, very talented. I imagine it must have been exciting for the general public just waiting to see what he does next.

Here are some more. I love the one with the kids on the wall in the West Bank. It's such a beautiful image of kids dreaming in a broken, dangerous world.
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Re: Banksy

Postby Andrew L » March 6th, 2012, 7:46 am

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Re: Banksy

Postby GregB » March 6th, 2012, 12:51 pm

He's certainly talented, though a fuller, more rounded description might well be 'a talented bore', the latter for his tedious radical politics. What such 'free spirits' never grasp (until it's too late) is that the kind of artistic freedom and licence they espouse in their art is intolerable to the hard men who always, always, sequester revolutions for their own ends and these radical artists usually end up either in bitter exile, or - more often - with years in a stinking prison, if they're lucky enough to escape a bullet in the back of the head. This was the paradigmatic example of the Soviet Union, where avant garde art of all kinds flourished in the first years, only to be snuffed out violently when the men of steel (the nom de guerre 'Stalin' literally means 'man of steel') imposed their will on culture (and everything else.) Laughably and ironically, this 'Banksy' could only flourish in the kind of open society in which we live, his heavy-handed agit-prop and all.

Talking of irony, I loved the information that this man of the people's works of art are now fetching huge prices on the art market. (Radical chic or radical cheek...?)

Incidentally, Bev, the work you allude to as being on the Western Wall doesn't actually figure in your last link. Hardly surprising as its better known name is the 'Wailing Wall', the remaining buttress of Solomon's Temple, a sacred site to the Jews, and I can't imagine the Israeli authorities allowing such a piece of self-indulgent frippery to stay for long on such a hallowed monument. Should local authorities elsewhere allow his stuff to remain? It's up to them - if they decide to remove it, that's fine; there's plenty of pictorial talent in the world without putting this joker on an untouchable pedestal.

Edit: I've just gone over all the posts here, including Bev's opening post, and it seems what she means by 'the western wall' is, in fact, the barrier erected in the West Bank by the Israeli authorities to try and limit the influx of Palestinian terrorists, which has nothing to do with the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. I'd just add that at least 'Banksy' was allowed to put his whimsical, sentimentaloid picture of the girl with the balloons there with no hindrance. (It doesn't take much imagination to conjure up a picture of what would have happened to him, and his physical integrity, if he had tried to put one of his visual 'statements' on an important edifice in any of the Arab countries in the region.)
"I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak."
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Re: Banksy

Postby Lyn » March 6th, 2012, 7:38 pm

I had no idea about Banksy's political views, have only seen him as an elusive artist and that is what I liked about him, the fact that he was fairly anonymous (I think he has been unmasked recently). I don't like all his stuff, seen one or two pictures that didn't appeal but I suppose that's natural, just down to personal taste. The idea of producing original works of art in odd places appeals to me, I never connected them with political expressions.
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Re: Banksy

Postby GregB » March 6th, 2012, 7:46 pm

From the Wiki article about him, Vix:
Banksy's works have dealt with an array of political and social themes, including anti-War, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism
"I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak."
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Re: Banksy

Postby Bev » March 6th, 2012, 10:01 pm

Andrew, did you take that pic yourself? (How exciting!)

Yes, Greg, I'm rightfully corrected. I mispoke, but you have recovered my error by providing the correct information regarding the West Bank graffiti. Thank you. :)

On his political views, I could tell from some of his art he's against any kind of violence, even war. I don't think that's such a bad thing. Seems almost a necessary part of an artist's nature. And I do agree that he is fortunate to live in a country that allows such things--even more so is the case in America, for now...
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