The Banksy Show: Unnecessary

Well, unnecessary unless you are the promoter … for him it’s a money-maker. The rest of us can see more Banksy, better, this way. We can even possess our favourites cheaply, by printing online images at Walmart or Costco. Or onto canvas, like some in the show. Sign ’em yourself.

Pete Tatham and I have decided there is no Banksy, or rather there are many of them, working collectively. Is there one mastermind who directs the operation? Maybe, but maybe a committee decides on pieces … and surely some Banksies are frauds.

We went to the unapproved Banksy Show today, lining up for our capitalistic shearing. Everything about the show is bassackwards. Can you imagine an approved Banksy showing? “Curator” Steve Lazarides claims to be an estranged Banksy associate. Who knows? If true, he’s cashing out and raking in his pieces of silver. The religious dig is apt. The show is iconography, with not a little religiosity.

Most of the show consists of photos, reproductions and silk screen prints. Real? What’s real, these days?

Rather than show you slides of works you can see better all over the internet, I am just trying to show you what it’s like to be inside the show space. You decide whether it looks whelming, over or under.

As for messages, how hard is it to take potshots at consumerism? Granted, pooping on us while fleecing us adds a bit of zing. Lazarides gets credit for that, not Banksy (if there is one). Lampooning authority figures is fun and even worthwhile, but lots of school kids are good at that. To call it genius is a stretch.

For the record, there is much I admire about the Banksy brand … the simplicity of means and the economy of content, for example. Considerable daring, cleverness and skill often goes into execution of the pieces. I share much of the sentiment expressed against abuses of power and wasteful consumption. This isn’t particularly radical or original stuff, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The one thing about street art that is radical is the ideological challenge to property, public and private. And that’s the one thing that Steve Lazarides has neutered by renting space for his conventional exhibition.

As I left, exiting through the gift shop, this bored attendant and the strategically placed Banksy quote inspired me …

… to create a Billsy.

3 thoughts on “The Banksy Show: Unnecessary”

  1. We have to give it to Drake though Bill, he definitely knows how to properly capitalize. A nice by-product of the excursion. And hey, if that’s what it took to secure you a suitable fridge magnet – worth it.

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