Sep 2006

Banksy and celebrity

Over on Chicken Yoghurt Justin highlights the pointlessness of Banksy’s latest work. Now, I have to say that I like some of the stuff that Banksy has done. The graffiti on the Israeli defence wall was particularly good in my view. Of course, not all of his work attains that high standard, and as Justin quite rightly says; the elephant in the room does seem particularly pointless… though from a purely aesthetic viewpoint there’s something quite groovy about it as an image (ethical issues about the use of animals as artistic “props” aside). But then again, elephants are always interesting to look at, so if you can afford to dump one into your art installation there’s a good chance it’ll be visually impressive however cack-handed the artist.

Also, was I the only one to notice a very subtle backfire of the Paris Hilton CD stunt? The prank seemed to be about highlighting the absurdity of Paris Hilton recording an album based purely on the fact that she’s “a celebrity”. In other words; “the fact that you have public name-recognition means you get to do what you want”.

It’s hardly an original point, but it was, in my opinion, an old point well-made by Banksy’s prank. Unfortunately though it was rather undercut by the reaction of HMV whose spokesman said:

It’s not the type of behaviour you’d want to see happening very often, [but] I guess you can give an individual such as Banksy a little bit of leeway for his own particular brand of artistic engagement.

In other words; “we’d be very cross about this if it was just some average schlepp who did it… but, well, Banksy’s a celeb isn’t he? So that’s alright then.”

Posted in: Opinion