I've been meaning to blog on Banksy for ages. Apologies to British readers - Banksy being well known here - if I start with a bit of basic stuff. Banksy started as a graffiti artist. He works in stencils. Reputedly he started to use stencils because he realised how much quicker he could work using them when hiding from the police under a train. The number was stencilled on the chassis. An inspirational moment followed. His identity has not been definitively established. It is known that he comes from the Bristol area. He was reputedly born in 1974. There seems to be a Mrs Banksy. A name has been attached to this shadowy identity. Let's not spoil the fun by digging too deep. This one is rather rude, isn't it?
Inevitably, he uses surrealist images such as this one of an ATM attacking a girl...
And one of his finest moments was working into the Louvre with his copy of the Mona Lisa, subverted by a smiley face. He hung it up. Unsurprisingly, it was rapidly removed. 'To actually ... go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It's a lot more fun to go and put your own one up'. I can relate to that.
In fact he seems very fond of Mona Lisa; she keeps recurring as a theme.
In another of his finest moments - well quite extend period of time - he went to the West Bank and set about subverting the apartheid wall (West Banksy the episode was called). He met with a distinctly mixed reaction. The Israeli Occupation Forces threatened him verbally and pointed their guns at him on a number of occasions and an old Palestinian told him after telling him that he had made the wall beautiful 'We don't want it (the wall) to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home.'
I do like this one from Bethlehem of the young girl frisking the soldier.
I think what I like about Banksy - well apart from his glorious subversion of all sorts of things is his English eccentricity plus his uncommercial approach to his work. It's not that he hasn't made any money out of his art. He has. However he could have made a vast amount more if he had taken a hard nosed commecial approach. He didn't and kudos to him. I will leave the last words to him.
Well maybe not quite the last words. Two good things happened today. Firstly, John Hirst aka jailhouselawyer has got engaged. Congratulations! Secondly,
Lawminx is back blogging after all sort of health problems. Welcome back your minxitude! You've been sorely missed!