Monday, 23 July 2007
Right first things first....Glastonbury was wet, muddy and sometimes a little disappointing. But then thats Glastonbury, yes every year you say this will be your last, but then in the wee small hours while your sipping on an over priced brothers cider and watching the sun go down behind a set of porta cabins staged to look like stonehenge you think .......wait a minute that wasn't there last year...who the fuck put that there?
Banksy thats who, or wanksy as his fellow graffiti fraternity like to call him. He himself describes this work as a pile of crap, but personally I see an artist with his finger on modern disposable culture. For a while I have felt his style of graffiti art is more remenisant of European political stencil graffiti that could be found in Italy, Spain or Germany during the 60s and 70s, usually saying 'Franco out' or "pull down the wall'. The graffiti that we are more accustomed to originates from the USA, and usually on a whole has nothing to say about socio, political problems and more about the self, and this is my problem with everyday graffiti, especially tagging or bombing. I always think that if Hitler had not become the powerful dictator that he was, and had instead followed his original path of an artist (and a crap one for that), he would have probably picked up a spray can and tagged his name all over Berlin.
Everytime someone tags a wall or bus shelter there is a little of that egotistical, megalomaniac and narcissistic bit of Hitler in them. Hitler of course went on to conquer Europe, and instead placed swastikas and monuments of himself in every major capital that he could get his greasy hands on thus giving us the first taste of bombing the system, and before you say there is a different between graffiti and tagging, yes I know, but when was the last time you walked past a london wall and said 'My god that chap has created a splendid example of urban experimental wall art, he should be commended for his flourish with the spray can and his use of typographical composition and colour, reward him and offer him the keys to the city'. No instead all we see is one tag after another....me,me,me.
Now I'm not trying to say that Banksy isn't egotistical, but a least he had something to say, sometimes something crap, but other times he raised a smile and made us think a little. Now Banksy has taken his art and placed it in art galleries, no longer does he wish to spray our streets, the council paints over what was left of his work and the graffiti fraternity can give him the finger and are glad that he is off their patch allowing them to once again spray such words of wisdom like 'toxic' or 'Mayhem'
I personally think its a sad day as we return to the dark ages of graffiti art and we watch with sadness and a little hope as the sun goes down behind ancient porta cabins in a field in Avalon.