Banksy A Contemporary Shakespeare
Banksy Artist Review
Poetry and theatre are not on the rise. Today’s highest regarded art is something in-between painting and filmmaking about gummy bears voicing political opinions. Shakespeare finally has a contemporary. His name is Banksy, the British graffiti artist turned painter-filmmaker. His stenciled street works are complimented by pranks with messages “I want out” in zoos, placing subverted artworks in the Met and MoMA, bold moves as the graffti on the Israeli West Bank barrier. But! The past is the past. ‘Revolution is the only solution’ seems to be driving Banksy. But his works might as well mean ‘There is no more lollipops here’. I’ll leave it up to you.
What matter is that he is here NYC. His residency for the month of October has perplexed many but is nothing short of poetic. You can track it here banksyny.com. Clairvoyant, frivolous and dry all at once. In a good way. His art is like riding a bike on the dusty summer streets with nothing in your pockets. The city is seemingly stiff and unimpressed. But I think Banksy is the best thing that happened to NYC since the hot dog. Rebellion is constantly on his mind as he is planting seeds in the concrete cracks of capitalism. He speaks of love, he speaks for the unheard or he just speaks!
His October 23 multidimensional piece (both literarily and metaphorically) of Central Park stall with his paintings devaluated is a gesture unprecedented in the art world. Putting a price tag to art is against art itself? ‘Sirens of the lambs’, the heart shaped balloon covered in band-aids, the garden track, ‘at the door of the club’ are all pushing art to new heights. The list is long. An artist on the run, working in a grey area, evading the police. Everyone, at least a little bit, wants to be in his shoes, live a mystery life of creativity and thrills. A life well lived.
The world is spinning but Banksy is not. He is hard at work proving my long-lived suspicion that there is no recipe to life. I don’t know if I am too young or too old to speculate. But! Banksy does not feel like a single person to me. It feels like a group behind a common goal. Banksy is a religion of poetic distractions from the routine world. A religion that makes you think, makes you get out of your comfort zone, makes you unplug from the system at least for a few minutes. NYC appreciates those few minutes. There is no recipe. Keep it frosty Banksy. Nice shoes!
more by MILEN VASILEV
As originally published on November 5, 2013 by Luxurious Prototype – Good-bye Banksy, We Will Miss You – New York CityHire An Editor