Saturday, November 30, 2019

Banksy: Genius or Vandal?

Living in LA through the 80's and 90's, i developed a particular distaste for taggers, who I saw as annoying, egotistical vandals who would ruin already iffy neighborhoods. Graffiti artists, on the other hand, have always been a bit more complicated. While I hate vandalizing private property - especially small businesses or homes - I can still appreciate the talent that goes into some artwork and I do believe that some big businesses do deserve whatever happens to them. But, for me, it is a fine line to walk.

In any case, I do appreciate Banksy's talent, his politics, his humor and the fact the he (assuming that Banksy is a "he") has remained anonymous over the years. This exhibit, apparently unauthorized, as many exhibits of his work are, explores a variety of his works through photos and video as well as prints, plates, canvas, multi-media, interactive cameras and more. His street artwork, by necessity, is relatively simplistic, but some of his prints are quite detailed and show some real artistic talent and his use of composition is apparent in all of his work.

This exhibit is relatively extensive and has a large number of works - I only took photos of a handful of them - and gives a good feel of the different types of work that he has done, from street graffiti to "Dismaland", a multi-acre sardonic take on amusement parks.

We really enjoyed this and felt it was a well rounded exhibit and appreciated the tagging wall at the end where there was a baggy-pants youngster filming himself marking the wall and giggling the entire time (we both thought he was part of the exhibit at first). Well worth a trip to a mall on Thanksgiving weekend!