|Banksy: off the wall [Telegraph]|
が、Banksyはその逆で、今や「落書き」を超えた扱いを受けています。オークションに出れば、とんでもない額で落札され、新しい「作品」がみつかればメディアがここぞと押し掛け、観光客もいく。「作品」は時にコミカルで、時にシニカル。政治風刺のような一面もあります。でも、そのartistsが一体誰なのか…、yet still in shadows!!
Underground art: how Banksy gave Swiss embassy an image makeover
Mark Brown, arts correspondent
Guardian, Friday February 29 2008
Switzerland's ambassador knew his country had an image problem. It was in the headlines for the wrong reasons, with the banks being accused of hanging on to Nazi gold, and he wanted to do something positive. So Bruno Spinner invited some young graffiti artists into the embassy's underground car park and let them do what they wanted.
‘Banksy’s ideas have the value of a joke’
28 January 2008 The Times
The respect given to ‘street art’ is a measure of how puerile and idiotic contemporary art has become. The auction? You can be the owner of Banksy’s Laugh Now, in stencil paint. A work by Banksy sold at auction for 288,000 last April.
Banksy wall art could top 200k on eBay internet auction
14 January 2008 Times Online
A wall adorned with a painting by elusive graffiti artist Banksy looks set to fetch more than £200,000 on eBay.
Let us spray: Banksy hits Bethlehem
03 December 2007 The Times
The “guerrilla artist” Banksy has helped to transform the security barrier that surrounds the town with more than a dozen satirical images painted, plastered and sprayed on to the 8m-high (26ft) concrete. The work winds a trail to the heart of the city at Manger Square, where more than a dozen pieces are housed directly across from the Church of the Nativity.
Banksy brings graffiti art into auction room
25 November 2007 The Sunday Times
Graffiti is to complete its journey from urban eyesore to saleroom respectability with the world’s first auction devoted entirely to “street” art. Although no single work in the sale is expected to reach these prices, one Banksy, a stencil spray painting on canvas, is estimated at £60,000 and a screen print of Kate Moss is priced at up to £30,000.
How Banksy turned the wry wit of his home town into million-dollar art.
By Lindsay Baker
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 28/03/2008
There's one Banksy mural that stands out when you visit Bristol, home town of the guerrilla artist who has become an art-world phenomenon. The title of the piece is The Mild Mild West and it depicts a huge, smiling teddy bear with a Molotov cocktail in his paw, facing three policemen holding up riot shields.
"People here are fond of that particular piece," says Steve Wright, author of a new illustrated book, Banksy's Bristol: Home Sweet Home. "Maybe because it's a kind of comment on an aspect of the Bristolian character - a laid-back cider-drinking hippy who can nevertheless be roused into action. Fluffy but defiant."
It's not just Banksy who is getting Bristol noticed at the moment. This year sees the release of new albums by a number of Bristol bands who first came to prominence in the mid-Nineties - Portishead, Tricky and Tricky's former collaborator Martina Topley Bird. It also looks like being an unusually busy year for Massive Attack, who will also release an album as well as curating the Meltdown festival on London's Southbank and playing at Glastonbury. Much of the music made in the Nineties by these bands has lasted particularly well. The Bristol creative scene, it would seem, was more than just a passing moment.
At a Sotheby's New York charity auction in February, a record $1.9 million was achieved for a Banksy image of a cleaning lady spray-painted on top of a Damien Hirst spot painting. The previous record for a Banksy piece was £330,000. His art is collected by pop stars, actors (among them Angelina Jolie) and hedge funders. For someone who cultivates anonymity (he is famously elusive), Banksy has quite a profile.
Although clearly an original talent, he is also very much a product of the environment he grew up in, as Wright explores in his book. "Fluffy but defiant" seems as good a description as any of the typical Bristol mindset.
Undeniably, there's something about the city of Bristol. Geographically cut off from the North/South power-and-money axis, the only city for miles in the rugged West Country, Bristol sits in splendid isolation, with its own distinctive view of the world and a peculiarly strong sense of its own humour and identity. Many who study there don't ever leave - the city has unusually high graduate retention.
Although I did eventually leave the city, I was a student there in the mid-to-late Eighties. Then we frequented clubs such as the Dug Out and the Tropic, and attended countless impromptu parties in unlikely venues thrown by the Wild Bunch sound system who later became Massive Attack.
It always felt a very relaxed place to be - sometimes too relaxed (it has even been referred to as the "graveyard of ambition": it is easy to while away days, weeks, even months there achieving very little). But it also seemed a harmonious place, not only a city where locals and students mixed well, but also a racially integrated one.
Racial matters have always carried a historical resonance in Bristol, a city made affluent on the profits of tobacco and slave-trading. Street names such as Blackboy Hill and Whiteladies Road remain as reminders.
"It's a past that we feel equivocal about," says Steve Wright. "It's a double-edged thing. There are the beautiful Georgian terraces that we love, but they were built on the profits of slavery. It's our shady past, and Bristolians are a bit self-effacing, a bit ashamed of it and are quite keen to layer new associations on top of it. There's always been a defiant, subversive streak in Bristol, and Banksy's work is very much in that tradition."
His works showing two kissing policemen, for instance, or his rioter poised to throw a bunch of flowers as if it were a bomb, are typical of his style - subversive, yet always with a touch of humanity and wry humour. As the artist himself has put it: "I want to show that money hasn't crushed the humanity out of everything."
In the 1950s and '60s immigrants from the West Indies were encouraged to come to Bristol to live and work, and many settled around the areas of St Paul's and Montpelier. Nightlife there took off in the Seventies, with blues clubs and all-night shebeens soon popping up (St Paul's festival is still an annual summer event, mellow and relaxed, like a smaller, less frenetic Notting Hill carnival). In 1980, following a police raid on the popular Black and White Café, the St Paul's riots erupted, the first of the decade's civil disturbances.
Around this time, the Bristol underground scene was steeped in punk and reggae influences, and soon embraced hip-hop - and with it the colourful New York-style lettering at the most creative end of the graffiti art spectrum.
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