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.