Posted from The Citrus Report
We wrote awhile back about cleverness and the artist formerly known as discrete and undercover, Banksy. We actually broke our analysis of the larger than life street artist into two parts, one about Banksy and Public Space, and the other about Banksy and his celebrity followers. We enjoyed his North American tour promoting the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, where the artist who normally creates one piece of street work that causes worldwide response plastered city after city with multiple pieces, including a very publicized amount of work in San Francisco. It was the Spring of Banksy, and it never really seemed to be too tired in our eyes.
This past week, Banksy promoted the release of the DVD of Exit Through the Gift Shop with three original pieces installed in HMV music stores in London and Bristol, England. Yes, that’s right, HMV. Music stores. Banksy and the English still believe in music stores, apparently. The new works are well guarded by a hired security team. The pieces have probably garnered more attention in a music store than if Liam Gallagher showed up to play a solo set of his new songs (okay, we exaggerate, but you get our point, it is super popular).
Again, Banksy is causing a huff amongst haters and lovers alike. Bombast, of course it is. Self-promotional, well, that is what Exit Through the Gift Shop was all about. Original, there is no one else in the art game that we can think of who would promote his or her own DVD release by creating original pieces to be placed in a music store equivalent to a mall store. To us, this is again a moment where Banksy going over the normal has paid off. He is bringing the art back to his original fans, perhaps not on the street, but at a unique street level in a music store. The work isn’t for the staid audience in a museum, but for the active who are participating in popular culture at a place that sells affordable art (sometimes bad art, but oh well). A record shop, how clever.
We don’t want anything from Banksy other than a continuing story to be written, to not hide away for years scheming away on his next big move (although we are sure that is the next chapter, a long delay of silence). What people need to remember is that this is all fun. The whole Banksy game is fun. The amount that the work goes for at auction is arbitrary, and none of us can afford it anyway so who really gives a damn? Just try and remember that in 20 years, Banksy will probably be a museum staple, and let us hope it happens on his own terms, the way he has treated the last year of his career. Take it seriously because he’s not. He is just performing his own art world joke of “The Aristocrats.”
Thanks to Arrested Motion for the images.
Posted By The Citrus Report