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Wall and Piece Hardcover – December 27, 2005

242 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Listed as the #2 book in the "LJ Bestsellers—Arts" titles

About the Author

His identity remains unknown, but his work is prolific, and now for the first time, he is putting together the best of his work — old and new in a fully illustrated colour volume.

Banksy, real name unknown, was born in Bristol.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844137864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844137862
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.9 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 150 people found the following review helpful By tokyo111 on December 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Think art has lost its edge? Witness the art of England's Banksy and reconsider.

His message: that if the powerful and wealthy get to force-feed consumerist propaganda to citizens via giant billboards... then citizens have the right to reply in kind. To that end he's trekked around the world throwing up politically pointed, often funny, always eye-popping street art wherever he damn well pleases: On sidewalks, on train trestles, on the West Bank wall between Israel and Palestine, in monkey cages at the zoo, in the world's great museums (unbeknownst to the curators, of course), and on farm animals (yes, ON them).

"Wall and Piece" is a "best of" overview of Banksy's career, and impresses on a lot of levels. There's the skill and variety of Banksy's techniques (stencils, illustrations, paintings, screenprints and sculptures are all on display). There's the caustic wit of his writing (expressed here in almost epigrammatic blurbs about art and politics). And there's his genius as a prankster. Example: Not content merely to graffitti a blank wall in Westminster, Banksy instead throws up an official-looking "This Wall Is A Designated Graffitti Area" stencil (complete with a "royal" crest swiped off a pack of cigarettes)... and watches others do the work for him.

For those yearning for art that's active... that excites and inspires instead of merely placating... this is the book of the year. One warning: it sits on your coffee table like a social land mine. Guests come over, crack it open, and it obliterates conversation for a while as they get sucked in. Completely Addictive. Highly recommended.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Clary Antome on May 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a time when most works of art consist of either inconsequential pseudo-intellectual "abstractions" or fatuous entertainment, it can be a great relief to stumble upon something like Banksy's paintings/writings on the wall. And here we have a nice compilation by this growingly famous pseudo-anonymous artist for all those who do not plan to bother travelling to London, Barcelona, San Francisco, Palestine or whatever other hellish place that has been blessed with his striking graffiti creations.

Incidentally, the Oxford Dictionary defines graffiti as: "drawings or writing on a wall, etc. in a public place. They are usually rude, humorous or political." Banksy's work, of course, is all three simultaneously. Perhaps that's one of the elements distinguishing him from other (half)underground artists (or just assertive kids) trying to get their message through by painting public buildings without official permission.
For better or for worse, Banksy's art is loaded with meanings - and they're not that difficult to figure out, either. No wonder that no self-respecting "modern art" museum showed much interest in him - at least until he made himself noticed by blatantly breaking the rules. Don't we all love a non-conformist!

In many ways, Banksy represents the good old punk ethos at its best: he is an exemplary practitioner of Do-It-Yourself techniques (up to his famous pranks of sneaking his works into big international museums); his themes are often (if not always) anti-authoritarian; his art is oozing with cynicism and (self-)mockery. Even the leitmotiv of the (nasty, snide, irredeemable) RAT as a reverse mirror of mainstream values, empty promises and not-so-subtle state disciplinary measures is reminiscent of the height of punk insubordination. Those were the days!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nikwax VINE VOICE on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book of a very creative graffiti/street artist. Banksy is unarguably a massive egotist and shameless self-promoter, and one may argue with his approach to what a street artist can do (anything he wants, according to Banksy). But those are mere quibbles compared to the amazing vision and wit that he possesses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shopping Bird on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book is an excerpt from a letter in which a young man asks Banksy to stop stenciling his childhood neighborhood because it makes the area seem hip and Yuppies are moving in, raising housing prices such that this young man cannot buy a house here. Banksy's book is filled with inspiring, hilarious, and very intelligent statements accompanied by witty captions, but his work is the kind that speaks 1000 words by themselves. A true public artist, Bansky also offers his tips on how to take a town by storm in only one night. The art in this book is a response often times to public advertising; it is essentially a way for the public to respond to the ads that we are forced to see. A great and intriguing book.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. T. Sullivan on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Nobody ever listened to me until the didn't know who I was"
- Banksy

I've always been a fan of street art. I am not going to argue that every tag is beautiful, but some definitely are, and I anyone to point out a visual medium that engages the public more than graf.

Still, a lot of it is pretty boring. Kids writing their names on walls can only hold one's interest for so long. Banksy, on the other hand, is a lot of things. Childish, hilarious, often time brilliant, but never boring. He is the most important street artist working today, and I highly recommend you at least look at this expensive art book in the store. It's amazing.

Using stencils, balloons, posters, markers, traffic cones and whatever else comes to hand, he has created some amazing work. He has hung his own works in major art museums, and he traveled to Palestine to do a number of works on thewall that separates the West Bank from Israel.

The work isn't always good. Some of it is just childish, and some of it is standard graffiti where he's just pissing on a wall to mark his space, but some of it is down right genius.

Banksy is a serious artist who doesn't take himself all that serious. Check out this book, and I am sure you'll be impressed.
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