The Always Bankable Banksy

You have to appre­ci­ate the para­dox of Banksy: A com­mer­cial­ly suc­cess­ful anti-cap­i­tal­ist. A van­dal who adds val­ue. It’s the sort of amus­ing con­tra­dic­tion that appears often in the artist’s own work.

A case in point: In 2009 Banksy made a wall paint­ing on an indus­tri­al estate out­side Croy­don, South Lon­don, depict­ing a spike-head­ed punk rock­er puz­zling over a set of instruc­tions. Next to him is a box labeled “LARGE GRAFFITI SLOGAN,” with a jum­bled car­go of words–“SYSTEM,” “SMASH,” “POLICE”–spilling out, wait­ing to be assem­bled. The logo on the box is also dis­as­sem­bled, but eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­able: IKEA.

The guer­ril­la artist had bare­ly fin­ished his mur­al when a pair of guer­ril­la busi­ness­men swooped in, sub­vert­ing the sub­ver­sive mes­sage. It’s an inter­est­ing sto­ry, nice­ly told in this nine-minute film pro­duced for Chan­nel 4 by Mar­tyn Gre­go­ry, shot and edit­ed by Paul Bernays and nar­rat­ed by Nick Glass.

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Brian K. says:

    When Banksy and his friend the Aus­tralian gen­er­a­tion X artist James DeWeaver did the Gum­ball 3000 in 2008,Banksy put up from what i’ve read atleast 10 sten­cils through­out the course of the race!4 years later,if you could locate these,you’d be worth a mint!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.