Ahmed Samy has some beef with Banksy...
We live in dark times; an era of poor communication, shortened attention spans, and anti-depressants shape our days. At these times of confusion, many artists slip through the cracks of our unable and confused minds, only to be mistaken as unsung heroes of genius proportions. As of late, guilty myself of once being an admirer I decided to have a closer look at the work of “anti-establishment” graffiti artist Banksy. And to say his body of work is lowbrow, direct, and idiotic is an understatement; Banksy is singlehandedly causing the downward spiral for the representation of the existing culture.
So why does the blanky and blandsy work of artist Banksy get so much acclaim on prolific platforms such as Facebook? Because his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots, and these days that will do. The easy to digest art from the very anonymous Mr. Banksy has seen the likes of Jude Law and Angelina Jolie fork millions over to get some of that simple minded stuff. But isn’t that against everything Banksy stood for?
Let’s get more into the pieces themselves and less about the man. Banksy became first know for his Pulp Fiction piece which depicts John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in a very famous shot with them pointing their guns, but instead he switched the guns with bananas, and wrote his name BANKSY in big bold letters. The message being the obvious that violence is bad mmmmkay? Much to my dismay this was the beginning of the end.
Since then we have been bombarded with other pieces like that one depicting two cops kissing. As far as the depth of the sense of humor is concerned it's as profound as the controversial Mohammed cartoon; just like that one, Banksy is merely trying to capitalise on very serious issues by making bullshit comments on them. His art is calculated according to target demographics and pie charts. Case in point the most recent Syrian kid photo, which depicts the drowning children forming the stars on the EU flag. The examples are really endless, that Banksy has become to me like an annoying alcoholic roommate who on his off-party days, sits on the couch, with Al-Jazeera channel blasting, waiting for me to come into the room, to start shooting his mouth at recent bits and pieces he doesn’t give a shit about.
Which brings us to the next topic Dismaland, Banksy's creative black-sunned, apocalyptic theme park/art project, loosely based on Disneyland except more dismal, which is opening soon. Don’t roll your eyes just yet as this will maybe have some more graffiti related stuff about cops, and a Reddit-calibre visual pun worth more than your entire life and a loose counter-culture ethos inoffensive enough to be culture. With bomb shaped candies, and warlord heroes this is more than just graffiti, this is LIFE bitch. Pieces at Dismaland like Little Mermaid’s Ariel distorted image, stating the obvious, looks as dated as a 'Save the Whales' poster. The state-enforced classism and consumerism as a whole is doing infinitely worse damage to young girls' psyche than some dated specific construct of outmoded fairy tales that holds absolutely zero relevance in the societal landscape anymore.
But yeah, if you're still titillated by a mall-bought, anarchistic takedown of a soulless entertainment corporation, go burn some Barbie dolls with Banksy and leave real guerrilla de-tournament to the professionals. The ideas of a guerrilla graffito turning water to wine and upsetting the entire social order lived and died pre-2006. Now with street art taken into galleries, the pieces really hold no true meaning, as it’s all taken out of context. Not just that, but after famous films such as Exit Through the gift Shop, we now have kids running around with Marilyn Monroe stencils making shit all over the world, looking for a quick way to get rich and famous, and creating nothing new and contributing to the demise of what once was a true, revolutionary art form that had something to say.
As a glorified art form today, it’s hard to say whom I should recommend instead of Banksy, not because it’s better art, as it’s all relative but some others who deserve equal if not more fame.
Stephen Powers aka ESP
Fab 5 Freddy
Shepard “Obey” Fairy