A Postcard from Banksy

In times of strife and challenge, I sometimes ask myself:

“What would Banksy do?”

Banksy is someone who knows how to prosper at the emergent edge; someone who better represents the truth of our community than most any so-called leader. Someone who subverts the status quo yet somehow wins the day. A person of the times.

Even my mum loves Banksy’s graffiti.

BTW, for a subversive art form, there are plenty of rules of graffiti (Bristol-style). Here are some things I picked up listening to some of the old-skool Bristol street artists a few years ago:

Tagging

  • A simple signature – seen as street ‘art’ by some…
  • Seen everywhere you go, often at the edge of another street art project (almost as an adjunct signature)
  • Often found in unusual, difficult to reach places – the act of going further becomes part of the art itself
  • Sometimes propagated by a crew / network of participants without central control
  • Challenge the orthodoxy of what art is. Will fight when challenged back – don’t partially cover their tag – an act of disrepsect
  • A living embodiment of ‘Small pieces loosely joined’ – the tags form a network of art influence – the crew effectively owns a physical landscape
  • Participants are anonymous – the reflected glory is in the visibility and dispersal of the work

Street art

  • Stencils, spray paint, paint-based.
  • Created without expectation of longevity, indeed often with desire for (self-)destruction
  • Ok with replacement / cover-up by other work
  • Requirement that finished product is recorded for sharing (online) – this is the brand building momentum
  • Larger-scale, more formally constructed and planned – often politically motivated, change focused.

This Much We Know.

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