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Trust no-one: Banksy Strikes Again
August 5, 2004 8:17 AM   Subscribe

A few months after his first (donated) statue, "Drinker", was kidnapped, London's guerrilla artist Banksy reveals a new statue, a £22,000 solid bronze prostitute with leather boots and a thong, dedicated "to thugs, to thieves, to bullies, to liars, to the corrupt, the arrogant and the stupid."
posted by shoepal (25 comments total)

 
(see also this thread and this one. Previous stunts include smuggling and displaying a dead rat in a glass box into the British Natural History Museum and various "attacks" on the Tate Britain.)
posted by shoepal at 8:19 AM on August 5, 2004


very good...do regular people like his stuff? and imagine the heart attack Ashcroft would have if someone did that here
posted by amberglow at 8:26 AM on August 5, 2004


That's a long winded way of saying he's dedicating it to his home country.
posted by wackybrit at 8:30 AM on August 5, 2004


I always like finding his stuff, I spotted one outside the Cock and Bottle in London's 'fashionable' Notting Hill on Saturday, though Bankside (outside Vinopolis) and Hoxton/Clerkenwell are more reliable places to see his work.
posted by johnny novak at 8:53 AM on August 5, 2004


I should also point out that he's from Bristol, not London and it's a great place to see his stuff too.
posted by johnny novak at 9:07 AM on August 5, 2004


I loved how he converted the giant Bankside sign under the bridge to read Banksy. At one time I wanted to organize (curate?) an annual walking tour of Banky's works (I was unemployed & slightly bored). Coming across his stuff in Paris and Barcelona was always nice, like seeing a friendly face in a crowd of strangers.

As amberglow mentions, I have to wonder if one could pull off this sort of stuff in the US these days. People seem to be getting carted off to jail for far, far less. England, and London in particular, seems to turn a blind eye to Banksy, though he has been arrested on several occasions.

More interesting links:
Sell out?
London Calling
Who is Banksy?

(sorry Johnny Novak, he is indeed from Bristol but he lives and "works" primarily in London, thus he's a London Artist. No disrespect to Bristol intended.)
posted by shoepal at 9:13 AM on August 5, 2004


I heart Banksy
posted by armoured-ant at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2004


I like this guy!
posted by wsg at 11:42 AM on August 5, 2004


How much would you all like him if one of his three-ton works appeared on your lawn? I'm sure the various councils and cities just love scraping up the money to remove them. But it's art and it Sticks It To The Man so no matter how many people he fucks over for his own amusement, it's a-ok! Hey kids - how many of you would be agitating for him to spend time in jail if he was putting up marvelously sculpted works depicting black men raping white women, with the caption "go back to Africa!"?

Just curious!
posted by kavasa at 12:20 PM on August 5, 2004


Yeah, that'd teach Charlize Theron!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:32 PM on August 5, 2004


While I would never posit the strawman kavasa has, I must admit to not liking people who enjoying defacing/enhancing shit that's not theirs.

/If I shake my fist a little bit more, those damn kids will get off my lawn
posted by haqspan at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2004


I must admit to not liking people who enjoying defacing/enhancing shit that's not theirs

not theirs? then whose is it?

I love guerilla/street art. our guy, Akay, is not as controversial as Banksy but quite good.
posted by mr.marx at 12:50 PM on August 5, 2004


Holy crap, if a Banksy appeared in front of my house I'd be honoured!

He's done a fair few pieces down here in Brighton and they're always good to spot & I was chuffed to see one when I was in Sydney earlier this year.
posted by i_cola at 12:57 PM on August 5, 2004


The "Drinker" was meant to be portable and to be moved around the city. I believe the prostitute is cemented, which, as you mentioned, isn't very cool. But, c'est la vie. I refuse to accept that either sculpture really "fucks" over anyone significantly. Both, however, do make statements of varying significance and should not simply be dismissed as a nuisance.

To be honest, if one of these sculptures appeared on my lawn, or in my council, city, county, state, country, I would be ecstatic. There's far worse (and offensive) officially commissioned (legal) public art in cities across the globe. Far worse. [full disclosure, I also consider graffiti to be "art." Gasp!]

(mr. marx, I too like Akay)
posted by shoepal at 12:58 PM on August 5, 2004


Banksy rocks. Forget the statues, check out his stencil work. I want to have those walls in my flat. Er, house.
posted by codger at 1:18 PM on August 5, 2004


There are several "prints" available for purchase, which is why a lot of people have been calling him a sell out. There are also 3 books, with a fourth on the way, I believe. Brandalism, indeed.
posted by shoepal at 1:25 PM on August 5, 2004


So this guy stencils on all over public property, and those stencils are essentially commercials for his books? He's just as bad as those jackasses who stencilled penguins all over New York sidewalks to promote some computer product.
posted by haqspan at 3:02 PM on August 5, 2004


It's not a strawman. I'm asking people to consider how heavily they're weighting the message of the piece when they laud it. The idea being I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be down with a racist Banksy, while they're perfectly ok with his puerile RAR I DON'T LIKE JUDGES statue, which is going to cost someone a pretty chunk of change to shift.

And - ok, you'd be ok if it appeared on your lawn. What if it appeared on the lawn of someone who didn't want it, who wouldn't be thrilled, and would then have to deal with it. Do you still think it's wow so hip and cool just wow man that is so, you know, wow.

This isn't, of course, a hypothetical. It has happened, it's just that when the individual faces are hidden behind the veil of whatever piece of local government has to deal with it, people find it easier to ignore. I'm regularly impressed by graffiti, and there are pieces in the genre that are just as much art as anything else, but not when the artist puts his or her desires to paint something ahead of the desires of other people to not have their store or home painted on.
posted by kavasa at 3:11 PM on August 5, 2004


I have nothing relevant to add, but speaking of scary bronze statues...
posted by majcher at 4:24 PM on August 5, 2004


Any Amsterdanians in the house? There's a strange bronze statue at the edge of a park there and everyone tells me that it wasn't commisoned and nobody knows who put it there. Is this true?
oh, and I'm a huge fan of Akay.
posted by dabitch at 5:01 PM on August 5, 2004


So this guy stencils on all over public property, and those stencils are essentially commercials for his books? He's just as bad as those jackasses who stencilled penguins all over New York sidewalks to promote some computer product.

No... this guy stencils all over public property. That is his practice. (or at least part of it.)
The books exist as documentation, or collections of previously existing work. That's like saying that all of... I don't know... Rothko's paintings, are all just commercials for the many books that feature (or focus on) his paintings.
posted by paultron at 5:32 PM on August 5, 2004


Thanks paultron.

Kavasa, I understand what you are saying and I respect your right to say it. I get that you are not down with being down on The Man. I get that you are not down with making a public (artistic) statement at the expense of the public or private citizens and that you view guerilla artists as a menace to society, inconsiderate of others and a general nuisance. I get it.
posted by shoepal at 6:33 PM on August 5, 2004


This isn't, of course, a hypothetical. It has happened, it's just that when the individual faces are hidden behind the veil of whatever piece of local government has to deal with it, people find it easier to ignore. I'm regularly impressed by graffiti, and there are pieces in the genre that are just as much art as anything else, but not when the artist puts his or her desires to paint something ahead of the desires of other people to not have their store or home painted on.

There are either no individual faces or it includes all individual faces... A public space like a park belongs to all the people not to any hidden individuals or the civil service who has to clean it up (if they choose too).

I wouldn't clean it up. I would throw up a plaque and let it become a symbol of the tolerance of dissent in a free society. Probably it would become a tourist attraction.

I recently photographed a graffiti cover up action.
Before. After.

It always made me smile to see these ducks on my bicycle ride commute. Seeing them covered with asphalt sealant just made me wonder what kind of person prefers a patch of black on asphalt to a bit of creativity.

Kavasa: Stenciling or decorating private property is more akin to what you are talking about. I also tend to agree that it isn't right.
posted by srboisvert at 8:18 PM on August 5, 2004


How much would you all like him if one of his three-ton works appeared on your lawn?

When I read this, I was thinking "damn, I wish I was irritating enough to him/her that he/she would put something at my house!"

I think it would be COOL! :D Especially that hooker/justice statue! LMAO! I would just laugh my ass right off.

Not so much those spraypainted rats, though. Those are sort of lame.
posted by erratic frog at 12:35 AM on August 6, 2004


love banksy. looooove. i have a prized hot pink pillow with this little guy on it that is my most prized london souvenir.

to all those that aren't into his "defacing" of public property, well, i feel the same way everytime i see some girl's boobies staring at me from a McNike ad, and i don't get any say in that matter about that. guess we all just have to live with it.
posted by capiscum at 4:10 PM on August 6, 2004


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