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Wall and Piece Paperback – April 1, 2007
"Cats in Paris" by Won-Sun Jang
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“Since spotting my first few Banksies I have been desperately seeking out more. They make me smile and feel optimistic about the possibilities of shared dreams and common ownership.”
–Simon Hattenstone, Guardian
About the Author
Banksy, real name unknown, was born in Bristol.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book was used but it came in excellent condition. Aside from a dedication behind the cover page, you would have never known it was used. Read morePublished 4 days ago by VTHokies
Witty, Intelligent and controversial. Some of the best works by Banksy beautifully laid out with some great quotes to go with it.Published 8 days ago by P. R. Bailey
It's a cool bathroom book, but I'm not finding any mystical connection with my inner rebel or greater understanding of the underbelly of our culture in its pages. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Fabulous coffee table book to add to the collection. Bansky is the best :)Published 1 month ago by jessica thayer
Great book filled with A LOT OF PICTURES and only enough text to explain what was/is going on. VERY Happy with the purchase!Published 3 months ago by B. Cholette