Friday, April 25, 2008

Viva Banksy

In my travels around 'the Sphere', I find some gems. I think it was on Gary's site that I discovered for the first time a controversial (well, in the words of mainstream media) art provoceur Banksy. This illusive graffiti artist who leaves his political commentary either spray painted or dressed up not only in his native England (we'll assume it's a 'he') and here in the US. Here is a short exchange from LA's public radio's "Market Place":

KAI RYSSDAL: Art is big business and getting bigger. Christie's did more than $2 billion in sales in the first half of this year. That's up 39 percent from 2005 and this week begins a new cycle of buying and selling. It's the fall art season. Thousands of artists are displaying their wares, mostly at upscale galleries. But on Friday, here in Los Angeles, there's an art event of a different kind. From a different kind of artist. It's being called a "vandalized warehouse spectacular." Marketplace's Rico Gagliano has more.

RICO GAGLIANO: On Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, Christophe Loiron stands in front of his vintage clothing store. On the wall near the door is the spray-painted stencil of a rat.
CHRISTOPHE LOIRON: When I first moved into this building, I saw some graffitis on my wall, and to be honest with you, when I first looked at them, I wondered what color paint I was gonna use to repaint the walls.
Then he noticed people stopping by to take pictures.
LOIRON: And asking me if I knew the artist. Some people mentioned his name, Banksy, and it took me a while to figure out how to spell it.
It's B-a-n-k-s-y. And when Christophe Googled the name, he discovered his store had been vandalized by one of the world's most elusive and sought-after artists.

[ Anchorman from UK Channel 4 News Video: Subversive graffiti artist Banksy has now created nine spray paintings on the controversial barrier which separates Israel from Palestine. Channel Four news has exclusive footage. ]

Much of Banksy's work combines edgy political commentary with ironic humor and criminal derring-do. Last week he dressed a mannequin like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner and somehow installed it beside a railroad ride in Disneyland.

Read the rest. bold added by yours truly.
Note how one becomes 'subversive' when protesting the barrier that separates Israel from Palestine.

choochoo, look mommy, why is that man in the red outfit wearing a big black scary mask?

The sculpture, consisting of an inflatable doll dressed in an orange jumpsuit with its hands and feet manacled remained in place for one and a half hours before Disneyland's security staff shut down the ride and removed it amid fears over public safety. The Wooster Collective.ROTFL!!! hehe...snif..ehm yeah, bold added by yours truly hehehe...boy, what a safety issue that was!

Anyhow, in this political world of paranoia and government abuse in the Western worlds of the US and the UK with increased domestic terror laws limiting people's rights and freedoms, it is ALL important for this kind of art (political commentary out in the open for everyone to see) to not only exist, but for it to be encouraged. Yes, I said encouraged. What speaks more to the collective mind when passing a building and suprise surprise, it has a message you can't ignore. Anything to shake people out of their complacencies. Ok, not just anything for those sticklers who'll think in the extremes of death and gore. We're talking Banksy. Viva Banksy. May he never be found out. Or she. Or they...

The Wooster Collective - a celebration of street art


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Blogger betmo said...

it is too easy to turn away from uncomfortable things here in avoidant america. people know how wrong it is for us to be in iraq- and to have secret prisons and military/mercenary bases all over the world. they just don't know what to do about it. so- it is easier not to think about it. i wish i could do that.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

If we could all be a Banksy! Speak up! Express!

7:03 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

betmo, you hit the nail on the head.. people know better but it's easier to pretend they don't. Right!
And RIGHT you are be a 'banksy'.. why we should call for a 'banksy' day and all do some graffitti somewhere to make a point. Of course, it would and could not be called 'artwork' if I got my hand on a can o' spray paint! lol
I guess that's why Kommander Kvatch is so popular! ( )


7:33 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

it's a "they" Ingrid - there are Banskies alive everywhere. Maybe I'm one of them. But honestly, I wouldn't tell for the life of me.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Yohay said...

The last one is so simple and so cool. Nice art!

9:39 AM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

"removed it amid fears over public safety. "
Although they would have been much more honest had they said "fear of getting our asses sued off", I can see their position, especially being so world renowned. That thing could have held a lot of explosives, and the weirdo's looking to make a name for themselves....(:

1:24 AM  
Blogger susan said...

One of my favorite banksy stories was one I read years ago where he went around to major art galleries and museums hanging his work among the other paintings. Some of his most beautiful and poignant pieces are the painting done along the wall separating Israel from Gaza. Check out youtube for 'banksy, guerilla art'.

9:40 PM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Hi again Ingrid:"
This will make your toes curl!...(:

10:07 PM  

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