Artistic genius, political activist, painter and decorator, mythic legend or notorious graffiti artist?
The work of Banksy is unmistakable, except maybe when it's squatting in the Tate or New York's Metropolitan Museum.
Banksy is responsible for decorating the streets, walls, bridges and zoos of towns and cities throughout the world.
Witty and subversive, his street art depicts monkeys with weapons of mass destruction, policemen with smiley faces, rats with drills and the iconic young girl with the heart-shaped balloon.
If you look hard enough you'll find your own. His statements, incitements, ironies and epigrams are by turns intelligent and cheeky comments on everything from the monarchy and capitalism to the war in Iraq and farm animals.
His identity remains unknown, but his work is prolific. And now for the first time, he's putting together the best of his work - old and new - in a fully illustrated colour volume.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 208 pages, col. Illustrations
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 03/11/2005
- Category: Painting & paintings
- ISBN: 9781844137862
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by adulau
Banksy, the pseudo-anonymous artist, is gathering all his works in one book. It's an impressive overview of his work and his perception of our society. The text is concise but introduces clear explanation of the various theme used by Banksy like the recurrent appearance of the rats. My favorite part is the rat table introduced in a museum...
Review by gbsallery
Witty satirical chronicler of the zeitgeist, or skilled self-publicist who just likes drawing on things? I suspect Banksy of being both, and that combination produces works of brilliance - conveniently collected and lavishly presented in this particular volume.The brief accompanying text is well-written (a couple of spelling mistakes notwithstanding) and very illuminating, providing some context to the creative process - without reducing the air of mystery that surrounds the work. I was expecting the book to be entertaining: indeed, it is one of the few art books which have made me laugh out loud, repeatedly. What I was not prepared for was the emotional range of the works - the pieces in Palestine, combined with the "manifesto" at the end, were surprisingly moving. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Review by elenchus
Though street art, so-called, is problematised by media even as the attention helps it encourage some form of examined life, Banksy's works are fresh to me despite coming to me second-hand. I'm not sure he's ever executed a work in Chicago, but he has had several in the US, so there was a formal if never practical opportunity to experience his work directly. So, while I'd heard and read about his work, it was never in-depth, and I didn't have a concrete preconception of what he did prior to picking up this catalogue. The works in <i>Wall and Piece</i> are pointed but almost always humourous, yet do not come across as pretentious. The wide range of imagery as well as range of selected locations (walls and bridges, yes, but also: zoos, livestock, museums, public sculpture) suggest a coherent perspective while avoiding the impression they are driven by a need to achieve notoriety (or a need to maintain it once achieved). And it's clear his work has as much to do with words as with images, perhaps especially when he doesn't use any explicitly. I especially liked his mutations of public service icons: barcodes, municipal codes, traffic signs.I will be looking out for his <i>Exit Through The Gift Shop</i>.