Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Following our meeting today in which we finished the presentation for Thursday I would like to elaborate on my reasons for disagreeing with the conclusion summary.  You have stated that the irony of Banksy is that his images and messages will fade away because his identity is unknown.  This cannot be correct for several reasons:
  1. Although the general public are not aware who Banksy is, his bank manager certainly is as well as his gallery!! He started as a street artist who valued his anonymity because he was performing illegal acts of vandalsim, now his anonymity is part of the hype that sells his work.  His work features in several published books (two of which we have used as references for this presentation, Unpublished and Unpublished II ) and the value attributed to his works of art through auction will certainly not allow him to fade away.
  2. The influence that street art has had on youth culture and music videos will not be lost but drawn on as retro influences, for example the large statement T shirts of the 80's are making a retro comeback in fashion for this year. 
  3. In my opinion the irony of Banksy is that he will become part of the establishment despite all his values and hype as has happened to punk icons such as Johnny Rotten who now helps to sell butter.
This is not a tragedy but a part of getting old and anarchy has mainly been a sport for the young, he will provide inspiration for the next generation of anarchists.  A bloody better way to end than trite sentences that have no meaning!!!

In fact this would be an excellent play out to the presentation rather than having Sham69 in the middle.


  1. ooh! Disagreement! Debate! How wonderful ;-)

  2. We have commented on how most anti-establishments become part of the establishment they wish to destroy within our conclusion, and yes for the most part the memory of Banksy will survive in history and in time he may even see a revival in popular culture as many things do. But the thing about Banksy is that he is not part of any great collective movement.

    He isn't a punk, or a rocker or a hippie he is just another artist in the 21st century. Yes, you could argue that he is part of a movement of graffiti, but the problem with that is that it is not something that lasts. The reason all these other movements are remembered today is because they were all preserved through music, artwork, protests and even poetry. And yes, again you could argue that his work has been photographed therefore its documented and to a point this is true, but his real work, the work that was sprayed onto the walls of London and elsewhere has already vanished into obscurity and that, in itself, is the true essence of his work. The impermanence of his art, like a sandcastle on a beach will eventually be washed away. This is the thing that every graffiti artist has in common and it is this upon we need to conclude.

    I understand that you think that Banksy will become part of the 'establishment' but the problem with saying that is what establishment do we mean? With todays politics and views on everything from everything to immigration, ethnic diversity and especially things such as modern art and modern music, it becomes incredibly hard to pin-point exactly what we mean by the 'establishment'. We no longer live in a time where it is as simple as people are having their rights squashed by 'The Man' and we can solve it by making music. Today people have so much more freedom to combat injustice via the internet, faster communication and a larger and more free thinking society. Our student protest march of 50,000 is proof of this surely.

    The point I'm trying to make is that I don't think that Banksy is 'selling out' or becoming part of the 'establishment' I think that he is fact trying to change what the establishment is through his art and if he has to do that by selling his work and putting it in exhibitions then so be it, he is evolving, and hopefully into something more than just a simple man with a paint can.

  3. I also object to you saying "A bloody better way to end than trite sentences that have no meaning!!!"

    Our conclusion has sense to it and if you wish it modified it thats fine, but please don't trample over what we already have by claiming that is has no meaning because it does.

    I value your opinions greatly, but at the end of the day this is a team effort and we must all agree as a team, which I am more than prepared to do.

  4. Stuart your arguement that Banksy is not part of any movement would surely tear holes in our presentation?
    Street Art is an art movement as surely as Surrealism was an art movement, it has distinct ethics, distinct roots and a distinct style. I could quote you several distinguished sources that document the rise and reason, however you, I am sure, will already know them from your extensive research.
    It is the first art movement to be created by people with no formal art school training which is why it is so exciting, being what Picasso and Gaugin would have classed primitive art, a freedom they strived for within their own work, to unlearn what they had been taught.
    The fact that his art work has been made on walls does not make it temporary, the fact it has been documented does indeed make it real and permanent.
    The 'happenings' of feminist art in the 1960's such as Meat Joy by Carolee Schneemann are still referred to today and the only record of these are photographs and video.
    Signed photographs and cuttings of hair from Gilbert and George are extremely valuable collectors pieces and their performances such as The Singing Sculpture 1969 are one of the jewels of modern art.
    As to what establishment I am referring to, you have already stated the obvious - the same one the student riots of 2010 were protesting against - the government, those who are in power, those who can affect change, the law. Banksy started as an operator outside the law someone who didn't pay taxes or have a pension. This changed with the rise in popularity and wealth as it is bound to do, as I said not a tragedy but an inevitability just (to steal your metaphor) as inevitable as the tide.
    Please do not stand behind team work I have worked extremely diligently for this team and the fact you have not been present for half the meetings does not put you in any position to lecture me. Had you shown the enthusiasm throughout the project that you have in the last week my opinions would be entirely different.
    I apologise if my end sentence causes you offense, I agreed to leave the conclusion as it was for the sake of peace and quiet however I am entitled to express my views, as are you, I am just a little sick of them being expressed at the last minute.