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:
- 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
- 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.