Internationally known graffiti artist, Banksy, left his mark on San Francisco in April 2010. Little did he know that this act of vandalism would spark a chain of events that includes one of... See full summary »
Colin M. Day
Glen E. Friedman,
Kelly 'Risk' Graval
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »
Banksy really did DO New York CIty, commanding the attention of throngs of fans who directed their entire lives toward finding his daily pop-up piece throughout the month of October 2013. This is one of the better films about Banksy because it manages to capture the many contradictions that the street artist represents and how he has transformed himself into some sort of messiah in the eyes of his followers. It is impossible to say what he is really doing, and whether, if ever, his seemingly clearly stated manifestos about art are meant by him to be taken seriously.
The undeniable truth about Banksy is that he has proven himself to be powerful by commanding the sympathies of so many people and causing them to march in lockstep and salute at his every move. Pretty impressive, especially given that these people have no idea how they have been seduced by him to rush to his defense when others try to deface his works or take them down to sell.
The idea that graffiti artists have a right to deface buildings and leave their marks wherever they wish to do so--whatever message they wish to convey--simply because they claim to be ARTISTS, is uncritically assumed to be true by nearly everyone who gushes over Banksy. But if one thinks of the building on which he leaves a message as already containing a message (perhaps one of simplicity, in the case of a blank slate) which he destroys by tagging with his name and his latest quip (usually a gag of some sort), then one could argue that anyone who defends Banksy should, in consistency, defend the integrity of the person who first designed the building to look as it did, before he essentially urinated on it.
What all of this demonstrates is that Western people have developed a somewhat contradictory view of art and artists. We like art when we agree with the artist. When we disagree, then we either deny that what he produces is art, or we say that it is bad. If Banksy left a bunch of politically incorrect, anti-liberal, far-right graffiti, no one would like him, and everyone would rush to suppress his speech. But he seems to convey a liberal, antiwar, pro- little people message, even as what he does ends up corrupting some of the adulators whom he pretends to want to save--the ones who decide to jump on the gravy train and abscond with his work with the intention of selling it to the highest bidder. Banksy might retort that it is the art world which has caused these people to act in such a way, but he seems to know what he is doing and is indeed (as maligned and despised gallery owner Stephan Keszler correctly observes) quite effectively building and protecting his brand.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this