Saturday, January 15, 2011

Banksy on Revolutionary Art

I must admit, I am way into the democratization of media. Back in 2003 or so when this blog started that was the source of blogger enthusiasm. Too bad most bloggers are so nuts that it gave the whole sphere a bad rap. In the same way, street art and new media gives the power of art generation and distribution back to the people.

In the late '70's, this "everyone gets to play" motif was the idea behind punk rock. The whole point was that rock and roll needed to be given back to the everyday guy on the street. Having to kiss up to power is certainly antithetical to rock and roll.

So, how does Banksy fit into this?...Well, below, Banksy explains how Mr. Brainwash revealed that sometimes Banksy is the man too...very self-aware reflection. Your work explores power, tests power and is therefore revolutionary, encouraging people to subvert the powers that be. Mr. Brainwash kind of did this to you. He looked at the power structure around him (you and Fairey) and exploited it for his own ends. Does that make him a student — or a con man?

Banksy: Thierry essentially trespassed into the art business, and even in the wild world of vandalism there’s a lot of conservatism — people don’t like to see the rules being broken. The story of Mr. Brainwash should be inspirational, and in the hands of a more cheerful director it probably would’ve been. The film might come across as a bit cynical, but it’s important not to forget these are revolutionary times in art.

There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell it, particularly at the lower levels. You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful. All you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection. This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.

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