Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting back to old school.

I'm not a huge fan of graffiti as the vernacular conception of it is portrayed. That is, the graffiti that is synonymous with vandalism. Random, indecipherable tags, or crude and poorly drawn images being sprayed on any surface just doesn't do it for me. Sure, if someone manages to tag somewhere that makes me go "holy ****, how did they manage to get there, much less have a hand free to spray?" then that's kinda cool. But generally, not a fan.

However, some graffiti can be beautiful. And (see the famous "Romans go home" sketch from ye olde Monty Python) some of ti can be highly political, which has been one of the functions of such street art since time out of mind. So, without further a do, take a look at this.


Adam said...

Banksy is pretty bloody awesome. If you have spare cash, go and buy 'wall and piece', which is a relatively recent collection of his work. If you have time, stand in a bookshop and read it.

He is a pretty sharp character too, check this out:

The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something. You don't go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.

More at:

Adam said...

I really like this quote of his. Maybe I am a sucker for middle class revolutions, but this seems to have some lovely content to it (especially for a slack middle class honky like myself):

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don't owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs.