The Null Device

Jonathan Jones on Banksy

The Guardian's art critic Jonathan Jones has a thought-provoking critique of Banksy:
One of Banksy's most irritating attributes is his conservatism, as an artist who seems proud of the fact that he "draws", rather than just making "concepts". He appeals to people who hate the Turner prize. It's art for people who think that artists are charlatans. This is what most people think, so Banksy is truly a popular creation: a great British commonsense antidote to all that snobby pretentious art that real people can't understand. Yet to put your painting in a public place and make this demand on attention while putting so little thought into it reveals a laziness in the roots of your being.
Perhaps the rise of Banksy is the fall of Art - that is, the waning of art as the force it has been in recent culture. A decade ago, the art of the Damien Hirst generation pushed itself into anyone's view of what was happening in Britain. Probably the rise of Banksy means that moment is coming to an end; people care more about other things. He is a background artist, as in background music: like all graffiti, his is essentially an accompaniment to other activities. Chunky sprayed-letter graffiti is a background to skateboarding. Banksy is a background to hating New Labour. The reason to admire Damien Hirst is that he makes art as if art mattered. In Banksy, the philistines are getting their revenge.

There are 1 comments on "Jonathan Jones on Banksy":

Posted by: datakid ('',) Fri Jul 6 14:11:05 2007

While I understand the sentiment, I've yet to see a decent critical article about banksy. This one and the last one are close, but there's not much there - and when it misses, it's wide - "In Banksy, the philistines are getting their revenge" as a criticism? More telling of the author than the subject. Personally, I don't think there's much wrong with helping people think different, so to speak.

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