In praise of Banksy...

Yes, I’m not all that hip, and I did just come to his art through last month’s Esquire article, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been really excited about an artist, let alone a graffiti artist. Banksy’s work is just the thing I’ve been waiting for. Andy Warhol meets T-shirt pop art in a totally free public gallery. I love the range, I love some of it’s scathingly political and other is scathingly fun and free. There’s a wonderful scope and impishness to all of it, and I’m damned glad to live in a world that includes this kind of work.

Banksy is truly the bomb. I recently saw one of his gas mask mice stenciled on an electrical box in town, I was so excited. I notice sticker art and stencils all the time now.

You maybe want to check out the Wooster Collective webpage for more artists:

He, or his imitators, seem quite active in the area around where I live.

The pavement outside my front door currently bears a multi-coloured “Sin City” stencil spray, which I think is kind of appropriate.

Some are just perplexing though. Until it was painted over there was a wall around the corner that was covered with a bizarre equation. Apparently a number of rats divided by bottles and multiplied by the square root of a rat raised to the power of three bottles equaled Miles O’Brien’s face from Star Trek.

I puzzled over that one for some time, and now wish I’d had the forethought to have photographed it before the vengeful hand of Camden council obliterated it.

I’m not a true Bristolian, but I hear Banksy is. There’s a big mural of a teddy bear wielding a molotov cocktail on Cheltenham Road here, but I think a lot of the stencilled stuff has been removed; I’m sure there was more down by the dockside before it’s utterly bland redevelopment… :frowning:

Banksy’s one of those people that makes me wonder if graffiti isn’t simple vandalism - that is, maybe it should be protected by some Free Speech laws. Of course, it is still affecting someone’s property (someone who hasn’t given their permission of course). He does make quite a statement though.

I used to see a lot of his little rats stencilled on walls around the Farringdon/Barbican area when I lived there (they would be waving protest placards, selling watches from inside their coats, taking a spanner to a telephone junction box, etc.). They were indeed very cool, and actually pretty subtle (they’re quite small).

Shame most graffiti ‘artists’ are just talentless tossers who get a hardon from spraying their ‘tag’ on everything in sight over and over again.

Hot Damn! - This is just opposite the old Whitbread brewery on Chiswell street. Walked past it many many times!