Skip to main content

Banksy Is A Great Artist

An article in today's Guardian suggests that Banksy, ultimately, is not a serious artist, and his works are not great art - and may even threaten the values that tether true art to society with his parodic style.

This is nonsense, and dangerous thinking. It's the sort of quasi-traditional, pseudo-conservative twaddle that mars so much British thinking (and critical writing) on practitioners who bother to extend the limits of their chosen creative fields.

Rather than wagging a finger at Mr. Banksy, the Guardian (supposedly left-leaning) might want to hand him a flower in the barrel of a gun - his aesthetic revolution has not only been televised, it's been put against the very walls where many would be shot ....

There are, I suggest, four measures by which all great art and artists can be evaluated:

1. Does the work engage with the recognised tradition within the art form, and then extend, refresh, or challenge it?

2. Does the work make innovative use of materials or dissemination?

3. Is the work visually memorable, striking, original, or (even) beautiful?

4. Does the work bring about new ways of thinking or feeling, or both, about any or all of the following: society, being human, political, religious, philosophical, aesthetic, or ethical concerns?


By any of these measures, Banksy is a great artist. - just as Francis Bacon was.

He has refined the methods of graffiti art, presented innumerable memorable, fresh and astonishing new images to the public, and done so in a way to make those who encounter his radical work confront themselves and the world.

He is the equal, or better, of Emin or Hirst. He is a national treasure. England should be proud of its latest genius.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!