Wednesday, April 28, 2010

invisible man leaves stencil footprints

you know what hip-hop has done with the word ‘nigger’ - i'm trying to do that with the word vandalism, bring it back.
-- banksy.

the poster boy for street art, enigmatic socio-political activist banksy's been in the news again. if he's not commenting on it, he's frequently in it. these days ironically he or at least his reputation profits from it. increasingly the blurred line of problem vs solution becomes his all too familiar terrain.

his commodification probably doesn't make the elusive self-proclaimed vandal too comfortable, but he's known as a modern day robin hood giving the bulk of it away when he deservedly profits from collusion with the traditional art world. mostly he works for free for the common good. his work a public gift. or he's "lucky to break even" when some of his collaborative shows have massive outgoings and he sells programs for 3 pounds a piece.

the latest melbourne escapade now has the mayor inviting banksy down under for a spray painting rerun. i guess there are some landowners desperately looking to increase their property value.

which brings us to the interesting debate of public domain. whilst looking for various art to use [i do have a copy of wall & piece which is officially not sanctioned by banksy as per his website - who can tell?] online the majority of banksy's photographed work has been copyrighted by others with questionable motive. creative commons yields a sample of his infamous imagery but most people are holding onto their photos with a tight dickens-like grasp. there's no accounting for greed. no matter how incongruous with the original motive.

many people are turning onto banksy's art because it has been determined to be of social, political or artistic merit. 

this from a guy who cutely debunks the recent ID reveal by saying [he has been identified as robin gunningham through an old jamaican photo traceback [courtesy of what appears to be a high scale personal fall-out with the problematic man responsible for this video & the leak of the original photo]:

- no matter what the case, the ability to maintain his identity for so long has been an incredible feat. but thanks for nothing daily mail]:
a modern day hero akin to zorro. the cultural phenomena has earned buzz. kudos to that. banksy put the spotlight back on the art/message not pseudo celebrity which he often satirises. 

following fast on those tracks in a mass surge are those who perceive that this has value. of the financial kind. with that comes the plethora of rich who can afford to buy his work. ie. entire building walls. the people in & beyond the system. luckily he keeps speaking to us from the streets which are his world stage.

there are banksy spotters everywhere. he's been spotted in san francisco in the last 24 hours with a number of new art works. the flickr photos are copyright courtesy of the featured photographers. a contradiction of sorts.

what would banksy do? well the popular cut & paste plagiarist would probably go right on ahead and serve them, perhaps with a timely yet suitable twist.

with his filmexit through the gift shop just released in the states it's no surprise the artist turned flipside filmmaker could end up leaving many more stenciled footprints in his US wake. celebrities, governments & the status quo should shake. while the rest of the people can celebrate. so many agendas.

make sure you buy a postcard on the way out.

all images courtesy of creative commons & romanywg @the wooster collective & banksy's own site via interwebs. thank you for re-packaging anti-establishment mentality in a palpable user-friendly call-to-action breath of fresh breezy freedom goodness & providing a vehicle of expression. we're not all cattle for consumerism slaughter.

No comments:

Post a Comment