Graffiti artists are the copywriters for the capitalist created phenomenon of 'urban' art"Come buy, come buy? call their tiresome tags and pointless polemics, ?You like that? I can knock you up the same thing to hang on your living room wall. What with being on the cutting edge of painting, us graffiti artists like to continually push the boundaries of what the medium is by spraying pictures of plump lipped, doe eyed girls onto canvas? they cry whilst whipping out their stencils and voila, street art to match your curtains. Well edgy. Well urban.
Graffiti artists are the performing spray-can monkeys for gentrificationIn collusion with property developers, they paint deprived areas bright colours to indicate the latest funky inner city area ripe for regeneration. Pushing out low income families in their wake, to be replaced by middle class metrosexuals with their urban art collections.
We call for the appropriate and legitimate use of public and private property
Get off our streets, go back to your leafy suburbs and get yourself a proper job.> Download high resolution images
The thing we hate most about graffiti is that its done by the slow and the self obsessed, all thinking that they have something BIG to say, hectoring the passerby with their trite statements on world politics. Never in the field of human history has so much paint been used by so many to say so little. Pissing up against the wall, marking 'da streets' with their lazily appropriated pseudo-socialist dumb-arse dogma.
Here's a mystery for you. Renegade urban graffiti artist Banksy is clearly a guffhead of massive proportions, yet he's often feted as a genius straddling the bleeding edge of now. Why? Because his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots. And apparently that'll do. Banksy first became famous for his stencilled subversions of pop-culture images; one showed John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in a famous pose from Pulp Fiction, with their guns replaced by bananas. What did it mean? Something to do with the glamourisation of violence, yeah? Never mind. It looked cool. Most importantly, it was accompanied by the name "BANKSY" in huge letters, so everyone knew who'd done it. This, of course, is the real message behind all of Banksy's work, despite any appearances to the contrary.
Take his political stuff. One featured that Vietnamese girl who had her clothes napalmed off. Ho-hum, a familiar image, you think. I'll just be on my way to my 9 to 5 desk job, mindless drone that I am. Then, with an astonished lurch, you notice sly, subversive genius Banksy has stencilled Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald either side of her.
Wham! The message hits you like a lead bus: America ... um ... war ... er ... Disney ... and stuff. Wow. In an instant, your worldview changes forever. Your eyes are opened. Staggering away, mind blown, you flick v-signs at a Burger King on the way home. Nice one Banksy! You've shown us the truth, yeah?
As if that wasn't irritating enough, Banksy's vague, pseudo-subversive preaching is often accompanied by a downright embarrassing hardnut swagger. His website is full of advice to other would-be graffiti bores, like: "be aware that going on a mission drunk out of your head will result in some truly spectacular artwork and at least one night in the cells". Woah, man - the cells!
You can see the attraction of anonimity when you're making statement such as this from a Guardian interview with (money in da)Banksy ?I'm using the word vandalism a lot with the show. You know what hip-hop has done with the word 'nigger' - I'm trying to do that with the word vandalism, bring it back." Eh? Bring it back where? Are you campaigning on behalf of a 5th century Germanic tribe? Or are you making parallels between the struggle of black people with centuries of racism and the struggle of poor little middle class white boys with the need to deface private property?
Get off our streets, go back to your leafy suburbs and get yourself a proper job.
We are taking matters into our own hands
We will not seek permission
We will retaliate
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