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October 20, 2013

The good, the bad, the Banksy

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, hearing about Banksy has been unavoidable. His current month long project, “Better Out Than In”, has garnered more attention from the public's reactions than the meaning of the works themselves.

 

This presents an interesting plot twist as his callow, one-liner stencils on social class, anarchy, anti-establishment etc. have taken on a new, deeper social meaning due to the the reactions of society to his work. Banksy couldn’t have contrived these deeper meanings, as the actions of the public remain largely unpredictable, though he cannot dismiss that the role of society has become paramount to the popularity of his work. In fact, the reaction of society to his work IS the work. So, as many would argue that banksy has run out of things to say, it is important to recognize that he is no longer the one doing the talking.

 

I am certain that no one is certain where his authenticity begins and where the ironies end. The elusiveness of his identity and evolving intent behind the iconic art are some of the reasons he remains so relevant. It is easy and appropriate to love and hate him equally, as it is hard to tell if his fame is deliberate or fortuitous.

 

Perhaps Andy Warhol was wrong; is this a new form of art, or has this too been done before?

 

“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."

- Banksy