Sunday, October 31, 2010

Painting over a Banksy

If Batman and Gary Larson had a baby it would be Banksy. (The logistical issue entailed make this an unlikely proposition) In the night Banksy swoops down and creates brilliant pieces of art and social commentary that make you laugh and think.

Of course his canvas is often public spaces and this means there's no security guards pacing around and grabbing you when you touch or lick the paintings. (They hate that, but if you've never tasted a Picasso you're missing out.) They're not safe and this becomes all too obvious when these masterpieces get painted over.

The destruction of Banksy's art often hits the news like it's some sort of great tragedy but I find it somewhat reassuring. My supposition is this...

The best art is transient.

Like a firework or the flight route described by a Monarch Butterfly. Try to capture that and all you have is ash and death. We humans are so terrified of our own mortality we're desperate to lock things down. To save them. To prevent them from changing. Taxidermy? Photographs? Detective Comics #27 encased in a mylar bag?

But everything falls apart. Everything is ultimately destroyed.

That's what makes it so precious.


  1. I wonder how many people hated that bloody graffiti artist Banksy before somebody declared him a genius.

    Now they must be ruing the day they got out and scrubbed off all his designs.

  2. I wonder if he got his start in the same way as other graffiti artists? Drawing cocks on movie posters.


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