October 25, 2020

Banksy in Boston | Who gives a shit?

Look, I LOVE Banksy’s work. The social commentary is inspirational and witty and always timely. But, what I don’t like is the fact that when Banksy does a piece in a new place all the fucking tools come out of the woodwork and ooh and ahh like it’s the most amazing thing they have ever seen, yet they still call 99% of all the other awesome graffiti in this city VANDALISM. So…is it because b.Rad Pitt owns a few Banksy’s that the buffers call this art and it’s acceptable? Is this going to be an on-going stunt for the ICA where every artist who comes to town does two illegal pieces and all of the sudden the city swoons? When will the buffers realize that ALL graffiti is art and some of the best artists in town show their work for free everyday?

3 thoughts on “Banksy in Boston | Who gives a shit?

  1. I don’t know what it is about Boston with graffiti. There has to be some reason why we’re so culturally opposed to graffiti, while a similarly liberal place like San Fransisco embraces it openly. I recall Shepard Fairey mentioning the Puritanical values still present in MA, but I think it has to be more than that. Even the label “graffiti” has a completely different meaning than “street art”.

    I’m not sure I understand your belief that all graffiti is art. I’ve got a few books and I poke around the web, but most of what I see are the the shit-ugly tags on the bus stop by my house that aren’t art just like Dave Matthews Band isn’t art. His songs are played with instruments, but it doesn’t convey meaning or provoke thought.

    I always feel awful when I see someone scrubbing a tag off the side of their business-place. I’m sure to them it doesn’t feel like art when someone signs their name on your store that you take pride in and build support for yourself and your family. It doesn’t matter what the design is to them, I guess it’s all culturally relative blah blah I’m embarrassed even typing that.

    I suppose it’s impossible to statistically compare the prevalence of tagging vs actual displays of self-expression, but I know I see more of what I think is the first. Maybe I’m out of the loop, but when I finally do see something in our fair city that is thought-provoking or truthful or emotional, it’s all the more significant.

    I need a cigarette.

  2. Man, thanks so much for your thoughts. You do bring up some interesting points and I agree that there is a lot of shitty graffiti out there. I really don’t know what the proper answer is in this situation. The thing about true graffiti is, the artist gets better with more time spent…unfortunately that means we have to watch their style evolve from shitty to less shitty to okay, to possibly great, and their whole history plays out in front of our very eyes. I also am not a fan of hitting up local biz, churches, cars and homes, but these are my rules and not everyone elses. I guess the thing that bothers me most is when the wealthy can put a price on graffiti art like in Banksy and Fairey’s case, then these little promotional stunts they perform become a great spectacle that everyone promotes, but when Spek or Utah or Caype or a number of other artists get caught they are condemned and sentenced and vilified. Just seems hypocritical to me. I would like to see more legal walls in the city, not just for graffiti but for any public art or speech. This is a democracy and yet we aren’t being heard. Obviously there are a number of citizens who want to have their art seen and their messages heard. Why haven’t our constituents listened? Because they are cunts. hahahah

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