Thoughts on Banksy

Before going to ‘The [unauthorised] Art of Banksy’ exhibition in London last week (totally worth a visit), I took the time to listen to a podcast series on BBC Sounds to give me a bit of back story and help me understand him better (we have no preferred pronoun).

Largely because of Banksy – Graffiti is now bonafide art, from once being painted over, to now having walls knocked out to keep it in the bank.

His signature style a practicality as hand painting political messages took too long – stencils are quicker.

His mystery, again a practicality, keeping him from prosecution, and became possibly the best tool in his branding armoury. It’s a credit that no one has ratted him out (although many NDAs have been signed).

He famously ridicules the art market, and often creates art to benefit a cause – like ‘Walled off’ his 10-room boutique hotel, a protest and an art gallery all at once designed to provide a boost in tourism and job opportunities to Bethlehem, with profits going back into local projects.

He has become the #1 example of guerilla marketing, with “There is Always Hope” being shred as the gavel fell.

The astronomical money that changes hands for his art, raises the question of royalties for artists on future sales – so many artists or their heirs rarely profit from success.

What do you think? Should an artist be retrospectively rewarded for their success?

#banksy #royalties #graffitiart