Friday, April 27, 2007

Walls -part II

It's only fitting that my post on walls, inspired first by the wall we're building in Baghdad and second by the Iraq memorial wall being built in North Carolina, be followed by a post on the world's premier graffiti artist, Banksy.

Everyone has their own idea of what art is, and few mainstream art connoisseurs would consider graffiti art, but Banksy's art has been featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, and American Museum of Natural History... until museum staff discovered his work hanging on their walls.

Banksy's art speaks for itself; his brilliant use of irony, his cutting social and political satire, and most of all, his unwavering commitment to nonconformity (which is being seriously threatened by his growing status as a beloved British icon).

But I'm thinking about walls and what he does with them.

He forces us to notice the walls we ignore.


He forces us to face issues we ignore.

Most interesting, was his trip to Palestine. 416 miles of wall, 26 feet tall.

Cutting Palestinians off from their jobs, schools, and family members.

His work there was met with some opposition.

Banksy's spokeswoman Jo Brooks said: "The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him."

He also received criticism from a few Palestinians who thought it was wrong to make something beautiful out of such a terrible and oppressive wall.I wonder if Banksy will make his way to Baghdad.

Long live the bleeding-hearts and artists!See more of Banksy's work on his website.

6 comments:

BlackSun said...

Heather, I especially like his work with 3D perspectives on sidewalks. It's been featured in a number of TV commercials.

So he works both sides of the "wall" so to speak, as you said: The non-conformist who forces us to think, and the commercial artist.

I'm a big fan of the merging of art and commerce. After all, who says an artist has to starve to be genuine? Why should artists have to wait until they're dead for their work to be worth paying for?

Heather Annastasia said...

I hear you.

Plus, few people realize that the conservative gold standards of "art" we recognize from the past were made by the nonconformists of their time.

Commercializing art allows it to reach larger audiences, and have broader influence. REM is a good example of an alternative band that has gone very mainstream, but they have never sold out their principles.

I think these are the kind of people who should have as much money and influence as possible because they benefit society as a whole.

Swan said...

Wow, you have a really powerful way of writing. I have not been able to get these articles on walls out of my head. Good job!

Gus_J said...

Cool, I hadn't heard of Banksy until your post. Incredible stuff. Check out Kurt Wenner too. His website is lame, you're better off with a picture search, here's a couple links (addresses if they don't LINKIFY.)A lot of his stuff has a somewhat religion theme, but I'm able to overlook that.

http://www.joystiq.com/media/2006/05/gearsofwar_final_lg.jpg
http://www.ideamill.com/postpic/diesira_lg.jpg

What happened to the other blog? I go out of town for the weekend, come back, and it's got one foot in the toilet. Why doesn't Larry just buy livingoutloud.com and make it private all the way. Shit, I'd host it for him for nothing. Boggles the mind.

Heather Annastasia said...

Swan,

Thanks so much. :) I am amazed at the amount of content you put up everyday. How do you find the time?

Gus,

Oh, wow.

That sidewalk picture is awesome! It's so Dante!

I don't know why Larry doesn't just keep the blog for himself. It would make more sense. Maybe CityBeat is paying him, though.

I really think the word verification and pre-post moderation will cut down on his traffic, but we'll see.

Maybe you should let him know you would host it for him; just so he knows that's an option.

Swan said...

I think the main thing is I don't have kids. Writing is my chief creative outlet, and the idea that I can pass on my experiences to someone really makes me happy.

What I do though, is keep a notebook, and any time I think of something I write it down. Then I just expound on those ideas, and write them into my blog.

The blog is a total hobby where I can just muse and think, so I'm really having fun with it. My book writing is the job proper, and when I get more involved with that, I'll probably blog less.

(Oh, did I mention I can talk forever?!!! :D)