Thursday, July 24, 2008
I refuse to believe that one of my heroes, Banksy, has been unmasked. His paradoxical parodying of commercial culture has intrigued me for years (although he lost some esteem when the Jolie-Pitt team bought some of his works), and, although I think it is more likely that there are multiple Banksys, I refuse to believe that this artist is a tangible being. He's an idea. You can't unmask an idea. Shame on any reporters who seek out his identity. That's just anti-art.
[Side note: When I was in London last summer, I was unnerved by a man on the streets who was selling Banksy pieces. They were canvased photographic duplications, and it irritated me that a) Banksy would not receive any profit from them and that asshole would, and b) Banksy's work isn't meant to be sold. At a market, I looked at photographs of his public art, but I didn't buy any. They lacked the aura of the originals. His art was denied purpose in reproduction. Perhaps Banksy was planning on ironic commercial success, or at least chuckled maniacally when it happened, but I will have no part of that.]