Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Banksy makes more money.

Banksy sells rather banal painting for £120,000.

I've never had much time for Banksy, and this painting pretty much sums up why. Of course, technically it's just fine. Nothing wrong with the composition. But god, the actual idea barely scrapes over the level of sixth-form poetry.

They're harmless old people playing bowls, you see... but with bombs. It's, like, totally symbolic of something or other.

You could say much the same thing about 99% of Banksy's work, most of which he has generously collected in a series of oversized books aimed at the sort of people who use the words "street art" in casual conversation. To be fair, at least he tends to produce paintings that actually make something of the environment around them. But it's still essentially vacuous stuff. The real theme to Banksy's work is self-promotion. In that, at least, he's at one with the rest of graffiti art, even if he's aesthetically miles from the mainstream.

Banksy doesn't say anything about the topics that come up in his paintings. He just sort of points at them, and says, "Look at me, I'm dealing with an issue." It's art with the superficial appearance of content, for people whose thought processes run about as deep. If this is the best we can come up with for mainstream modern art - some third-rate prankster with a spraycan, a press officer, and no real content whatsoever - then god, that's a thoroughly depressing thought.