I notice another Bansky has materialised in London.

Whilst I find his images a tad pithy and partially wry, the status of his work has been blown out of all possible proportion.

I’m now going to explain why with my words.

Firstly, the graphics themselves, again, they’re okay, they sort of remind me of a mixture of 50’s comic books and Goya’s etchings -well, at least in terms of the treatment of the figures and their subsequent lighting- which doesn’t exactly do much for Banksy’s ‘contemporary’ vibe. Painting on walls has been around since the Neanderthals shat on their fingers.

The compositions themselves are quite strong, the lack of background adds a certain starkness to his renderings but I can’t help feeling that this is born of a compromise. He’s desperate to protect his anonymity and subsequently the works need to be executed hastily. It feels to me his pieces have an ‘it’ll do’ aspect as opposed to a ‘I want to achieve this’ atmosphere.

And lets not beat about the bush here, the main reason he’s a success is precisely because of his status as some sort of anonymous guerrilla artist working on the fringes of the law. He’s such a renegade that Banksy.

The other reason he’s become successful, of course, is his subject matter. In my opinion this is his main strength but his message usually dithers too much to instil any sense of satire. Take his latest work as an example; he’s ironically done a great piece of PR for fucking Tesco…

So, why has this person’s work gone from being worthless graffiti to highly collectable art? It’s not good enough to say that he’s captured the zeitgeist of the modern age by offering to the public a bit of controversy via the juicy stamp of his exceptional talent. It’s because he’s the perfect media darling.

We can’t see this fellow, we know nothing about him, for all we know he’s stumbling out the Funky Buddha every night hanging out the back of Amy Winehouse coked to the Parietal Lobe before scrawling ‘cunt’ in his own vomit. All we know about Banksy are these timely acts of self PR. The person with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies to all intents and purposes doesn’t actually exist.

From the Daily Telegraph to the Daily Mail, this enigma has gone from common or garden vandal to being nonchalantly feted and quietly adored AND he can enjoy his celebrity status unhindered. In my opinion that’s his greatest achievement. In this respect, he’s unique. To have the press at your beck and call, yet you barely exist.

There are other brownie points too, his works (these days) can do wonders for a local economy, especially in deprived areas and, I suppose, a part of me sees him bringing art to the masses, turning the street into a gallery so on and so forth…

In fact, Banksy doesn’t really seem to have any critics at all. Everyone seems quite pleased when one appears. This is problematic – it emasculates his work, the satire that existed in the first place is gentrified. It becomes harmless and that’s not what art is about.

And this, dear reader, is why Banksy doesn’t really work.

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57 Responses to “banksy”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Bored of Banksy. I am.

    Was amusing, but like you say, relies on content staying underground.
    Plus, he’s pretty much sponsored by the Guardian these days, and it makes me feel violently ill.

  2. piqued Says:

    What I’m really annoyed about this time round is the bloody Tesco reference, he’s immortalised them

  3. Swineshead Says:

    I agree about that n’all. It’s a free high profile ad. They’d have paid thousands and thousands for it. The symbolism will be lost on most of the confused Essex Road-dwellers who pass it.

    I saw it on the bus at 7.30 on monday morning for the first time, on the way to work, and shrugged. It’s not as bad as the shitty cash machine girl on roseberry avenue though. That looks utterly crap. Interesting how he’s moved from Hackney/Shoreditch to Islington/Clerkenwell as his profile rides higher and higher.

  4. piqued Says:

    I bet they’re delighted… It’s excruciatingly frustrating

    Yes, that’s an interesting point about location –he stays completely clear of sarf of the river.

  5. glenn Says:

    I suppose you could do better work than Banksy? Feel free to show us how talented you are. Criticism doesn’t require very much skill.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Glenn – completely fucking pointless fanboy comment right there. Well done.

  7. piqued Says:

    ‘Criticism doesn’t require very much skill’

    Possibly the most stupid comment posted on here ever

    Now fuck off

  8. Glenn Says:

    What a huge collection of losers you are. Why don’t don’t you move out of your mother’s basements and go on a date. Or to a Star Wars convention or something. Get a fucking life in other words.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    Nice one Glenn – you’re on fire today.
    Interestingly, none of us live with our old mommas…

    I hate star wars too.

    Is the loser the man who runs a crap blog or is it the man who takes time out of his doubtless fascinating day to comment on a thread he apparently disagrees with?

    It’s the big question… and who better to answer it than Glenn The Knowledgable?

  10. piqued Says:

    You could’ve just said ‘get a life’?


  11. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    He’s rubbish though, isn’t he? Isn’t he though, Glen? Rubbish. Any old idiot can do art … HE AIN’T NOTHING SPECIAL, Glen. Nothing.


  12. Swineshead Says:

    It’s ‘Glenn’ – get it right.

  13. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’m not mispelling his name, I’ll leave that to dumbasses like Glen.


  14. Swineshead Says:

    I wonder whenn Glenn will come back thenn?

  15. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Hugh nose? Ewe thaire, Glenn?

  16. Swineshead Says:



    He’s gone.

    Well. That’s WWM’s glorious comeback all sorted then. Here’s to days, months and weeks of the rubbish that’s doubtless going to be posted up on here in the future.

  17. Badger Madge Says:

    about fucking time. i’vebeen bloody waiting for you arses to chuffing write something for days!

  18. Badger Madge Says:

    and now i’ve got that out of my system: what a thoroughly interesting post, piqued. really thought provoking and possibly my fave on this site so far.

  19. Swineshead Says:

    Blast – if only I’d blogged Britain’s Worst Teeth, it could’ve been me…

  20. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’ve got Britain’s worst teeth. Me. I have.

  21. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Hmm… some of his stuff is pretty witty though. Doesn’t make it ‘Art’TM, but I still like seeing it around the place.

    Guessing you’ve read this though:

  22. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I haven’t read that, and I’m damned if I’m going to now.

  23. piqued Says:

    I’d like to thank Badger for her kind words with these ones.

    JQW you’ve inadvertently just done a brilliant pun which I’m going to claim



    A(rt)TM = nonsense that’s been overhyped to make money

  24. b'ree Says:

    this post hurt my brain cause it said some stuff i had to think about.


  25. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Inadvertent my cock.

  26. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    That’s one you won’t be stealing for Viz. Because they’ll say you’re a poncy git and tell you to go and look at some tits.

  27. piqued Says:

    It’s not for Viz John, it’s for you

    *kisses John*

    *forces engorged penis into his now willing mouth*

  28. John Q Wagonwheel Says:


  29. piqued Says:

    Didn’t even break the skin

    *bolts emulsion*

  30. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    *leers mockingly at piqued’s frazzled poniard and reaches for hacksaw*

    Ya gay.

  31. piqued Says:

    You’re not going to spit all that jitler out your mouth first?

    I suggest you do, I’m riddled with the pox

  32. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Luckily I was wearing a custom mouth-rape-protection jizz collecting sac. So your paltry man dribblings were merely coughed into a sort of rubbery balloon for later removal.

  33. piqued Says:

    You just made that up you shit

  34. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Looks like I made it up just in time too.

  35. piqued Says:

    I’ve moved on John, just let me go okay

  36. Laird o' the North Says:

    Fuck me- can I get on here too? I know I’ve just missed the chance to have a salty mouthwash but maybe I can join in for next time. Now, where’s that Glenn got to…

  37. b'ree Says:

    at such a late hour, and under the influence, this is all incredibly sexy, you hornbags. oi oi oi.

  38. dave Says:

    I agree with everything you say. It sickens me to see trendy T-shirts, bars and even HMV using Banksy. It’s out of hand. Still, his observation is far superior to the many “fuck Bush”, bomb-wielding scrawlings I see in Manchester.

    I give this post 5 stars.

  39. piqued Says:

    I hope that’s out of 5 Dave?

  40. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    That one he did on that wall in Israel was good too.

  41. piqued Says:

    Arguably his most successful

  42. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    And hats off to the man for ruining a Damien Hirst painting.

  43. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    True, how can you hate the guy after that?

  44. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Yeah, I agree with both me and Wagonwheel.

  45. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    But which of us was just gainsaying piqued? Does it even matter?

  46. piqued Says:

    Damien Hurst is one of his biggest collectors -eat that

  47. wally bazoom Says:

    Far from being an advert for Tescos, isn’t it the point of the piece to reflect something of our general move towards homogenity? I mean, usually an advert would reflect it in a more positive light?

  48. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Homogenity? Bit smartarse that, ain’t it? Have you taken a smart pill, Wally?

  49. garethchipshop Says:

    It’s badly spelt, is what it is.

    So no, I haven’t.

  50. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Is that a bomb that turns you gay by warpin’ yer genes? Someone must have dropped ’em on the French.

  51. Nico aka Niktektonik Says:

    Hey John…why don’t you go suck some more dicks while I fuck your mum so you can have a little brother to play with?

  52. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    You should really be made to do penance for that remark, Nico. I suggest ten Hail Marys, fifteen Lord’s Prayers, and a pint of diarrhoea to be drank immediately.

  53. Swineshead Says:

    Are our readers really all idiots?

  54. piqued Says:

    Is Nico Austrian?

  55. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    “Are our readers really all idiots?”

    Careful, Swineshead. I put forth a similiar supposition on my blog, and ended up as a religious fundamentalist.

  56. spoooosh Says:

    And this dear wankers is why your all fukin sad!!

  57. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Ah, excellent, I hadn’t spotted this before. Clearly Nico needs to develop his sense of the troisième degré, then perhaps he’d have noticed the irony of a French student saying such a thing. I doubt he will though, because he’s clearly a stupid, odious fuckwit.

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