Handsome Dan and I don’t always agree on everything, but in this case we’re pretty much unanimous on our appreciation of Banksy.
On Saturday’s Old Street expedition, we came across a brilliant little book shop called the bookartbookshop selling lots of arty, handmade, homegrown type books. Sort of like Borders but without the massive racks, the hundred staff, the CD department, the adjoining cafe, the wireless hotspot, and strategically placed add-on sale items near the registers. But they do both sell books, one of which was “Wall And Piece”, an extremely clever collection of stencils plastered about town by the artist informally known as Banksy. Dan very cleverly parted with his cash, and I very cleverly am getting his full money’s worth out of it.
The website doesn’t really show the really good stuff, like the stencil on the walking bridge that says “concealed trap door in use”, or the stencil of the Tower Guard graffiti-ing “God Save the Queen”, or the wall on Portobello rd where he stencilled “THIS WALL IS A DESIGNATED GRAFFITI AREA – by order National Highways Agency” which was then completely covered in tags only three days later, but it gives you a rough idea. It’s funny, it’s well designed, and best of all there’s more of a point to it than “I’m gunna write me name on that wall cause it’s there n that”. Thank god for Banksy, hopefully all graffiti writers will take note of this extract:
“The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Fame is a by-product of doing something else. You don’t go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.”
I tell you, when I spot one of his pieces, I’m going to get more starry eyed than when I saw Jeremy Irons out walking his dogs the other day.