Friday, December 21, 2007

Heroes with spray cans

I recently received Wall and Peace by Banksy, a subversive English graffiti artist, from a good friend (Thanks Trang!) and I do believe I've found my newest hero.

Here are some explanations of a few of his works:

-On a blank wall in a few different locations, he tags "By order; National Highways Agency; This wall is a designated graffiti area; Please take your litter home; EC REF. Urba 23/366."

-Calling the wall separating the occupied territories of Israel and Palestine "the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti artists," Banksy went on a spray painting spree on the Palestinian side with images of paradise behind imaginary windows and breaks in the wall.

-Cows, pigs, and sheep can also be walls.

-Jumping into zoo pens because those places also have walls that could use some decor.

-An Apache helicopter wearing a giant, girly bow at the rotor.

-Fake paintings smuggled into the Tate, Louvre, MoMA, and New York Met. Fake artifacts placed on the walls of various natural history museums.

-Planting shark dorsal fins in lakes to freak out the kids. Good times.

-"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. People in glass cities shouldn't fire missiles."

-Replacing Paris Hilton's CD release with her face replaced by a chihuahua's head.

And the greatest thing about this guy is that he's anonymous. Effing anonymous! Not to avoid being arrested and being fined thing by authorities, I'm sure he wants it this way to avoid being arrested in another sense entirely. A revolutionary of a different kind whose philosophy fits perfectly with today's urban societies. A Deep Throat who tags awesome shit. A modern artist who doesn't have to explain his work and hide behind through god-awful pretentious interpretations. A true to life V. A Dennis the Menace whose Mr. Wilson is the man.

You have your heroes like Spiderman, Bruce Lee, and Al Gore, and then you have your heroes who change the world with spray cans wherever he damn well pleases. Man, sheer malevolent genius.

Oh, and on the back of the book, a quote by a Metropolitan Police Spokesperson: "There's no way you're going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover."

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