Art and Quotes by Banksy

World-famous guerrilla street artist (or vandal, if you prefer) who’s distinctive stencil-graffiti technique has been seen around the world. His attitude toward graffiti as ‘art’, capitalism, advertising, fame, etc. have always fascinated me. I bought ‘Wall and Piece’, a book featuring a few of his words and many of his works recently and it’s given me quite a bit that I think is worth thinking about, and I thought I’d share.

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The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists.. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.

* People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something. You don’t go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.

Writing graffiti is about the most honest way you can be an artist. It takes no money to do it, you don’t need an education to understand it and there’s no admission fee.

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5 thoughts on “Art and Quotes by Banksy”

  1. Wow well said and I totally agree. I just don’t like the taggers in most of my country that tag to deface property with things like “South Crip Gangsters” and stuff like that. You know what i mean? The people whose only message is “look at me coz I’m cool!”

  2. nicely put brother, youre absolutely right. the thing is, down here in australia, graffiti has become a real problem, spawning an actual sub culture of ‘lads’, guys that vandalise and deface for no reason other than to cover a wall with their lame-ass tag. i think down here, its losing the art element that concieved it in the first place, now its become a sort of by product of a destructive lifestyle, creating gangs and violence and crime. its way outta control and its a real pain in the ass. we need real graffiti artists down here. thinking people that work hard to challenge the powers that be through their art, not their fists or knife points. these guys are realy missing the point over here, they think theyre hard ass gangsters

  3. same, im from the us and i must say, thats all these kids talk about. the difference between banksy and other grafitti artist is his have a cleaar message, showing the true reality of the everyday person. like edward hopper, he showed the lonliness the the average person, banksy show the problems we face.
    like andy warhol said:
    art is only something you canget away with

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