Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Banking on Banksy
Melbourne town hosts some of the most impressive graffiti the world has ever seen. From the backs of buildings in Fitzroy, to the renowned Hosier Lane in the CBD, people gather from all over the globe to sneak a peek at the some of the world's most exclusive graffiti works.
At one stage, Melbourne got so proud of its graffiti, that a rare and tiny piece done by the notorious british graffiti artist known as Banksy, was protected by a heavy, state-government planted, plastic sheet.
... this, some would say, was a major fuck up.
As i walked down the busy pathway of Flinders Lane, I tossed a sideward glance at the back of the building that housed this now 'celebrated' Banksy piece, and to my surprise, what had replaced it was a dripping coat of freshly spilled silver paint, covering Banksy's work, and protected by the same state-government inflicted plastic cover.
In response to this act I will post a quote from Banksy himself:
"Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head"
... So, in essence, this act of 're-arranging' and 're-using' graffiti pieces around the world is the precise ethos of the craft, and the government's act in trying to preserve Banksy's piece, is actually an act of destroying the very nature of graffiti as we recognize it in today's culture.
"When the time comes to leave, just walk away quietly and don't make any fuss"