- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Century; New edition (9 November 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844137872
- ISBN-13: 978-1844137879
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.9 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wall and Piece Paperback – 9 Nov 2006
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"Witty and thought-provoking, his images excite and infuriate in equal measure. Already a classic" (www.shortlist.com)
"This is work that must be witnessed, lived with, taken to heart, and re-enacted in the name of 'Freedom'" (Rain Taxi Review of Books)
About the Author
Banksy, real name unknown, was born in Bristol.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In any case, part of why Banksy can produce so much is that he has a good paradigm to follow. Late in the book he writes, "Think from outside the box, collapse the box and take a [expletive] sharp knife to it." He doesn't mean that, of course, because his art form is a type of box: he uses spray paint and stencils to draw edgy messages in public places. What he means by box, it seems, is what Whitman meant when he wrote "Reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults our own soul": don't accept what holds you back.
And that's powerful. I don't know how Banksy funded himself, but I have a feeling he's of the mindset that the real work starts when the nine to five stops. If he even had a nine to five. He might have said screw it altogether. There are plenty of self help books and motivational speakers saying some form of Follow your heart. There are few, if any, books and speakers saying Be poor as piss, but do what you want. Banksy's not a self help guru; however, it seems to me the dissatisfaction he taps into in his audience is from the same place as the dissatisfaction that adults who listen to motivational speakers feel.
That's not a bad thing. It says something about human nature that so many people are so often unhappy and unfulfilled. Banksy often makes fun of people who feel contentment in easy and bourgeois ways. Take his stencil of "This is not a photo opportunity" put in places that tourists like to photograph, for instance. His most powerful work, though, has the strongest social messages: a Guantanamo detainee with a bag over his head spray painted on a busy London walkway, or a 24-year-old with angel wings and a halo sitting on the ground smoking and drinking.
These are images of stifled lives, and they're the ones that make Banksy Banksy. The Guantanamo detainee's life is being taken away by legal quagmire, and the 24-year-old's life is being taken away because he has no meaningful opportunity. Banksy has been able to break through the wall of life to find opportunity, and he argues others can as well. One piece, at a Ramallah checkpoint along the Isreal-Palestine wall, shows a small child with a yellow toy pail and hand shovel. It's painted in front of some rocks, so it appears the child has broken through. His message: To break through, all it takes is the heart and irrational determination of a child.
And some toys.
I bought this and "Banksy you are an acceptable level of threat." I GREATLY prefer this book over "acceptable level of threat." This is not just full of amazing photographs of his work but it has actual commentary by banksy himself! Its full of his witty and clever sayings that will have you rolling on the floor laughing.
But most importantly it contains his philosphy behind art and why he does what he does. Its in his own words and not write by some outside source who "researched" his work.
If you love street art and banksy more so, then you NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK!!! Out of the dozens of Banksy books, this is by far the best. After all it was created by Banksy himself.
I have enjoyed watching street art and creative graffiti grow over the last 30 years (I'm a 60 year old grandma). Banksy has raised the bar so much higher. His earlier work was strongly English, with commentary on uniquely British foibles, but every year it has expanded to lambast ridiculousness everywhere. I especially loved his rat series, which was brilliant.
This book has a smidgen of his history with just enough details to give us a view into Banksy's perspective and goals, but not enough to identify him. And that's fine with me; I love the mystery of who he might be. He gets to remain "everyman" or any man and speak truth to power on our behalf. This book is a wonderful introduction to his work if you haven't seen "Exit Through the Gift Shop" or heard of him. And, if you're a big fan, it's a delight!
To Mayor Bloomberg: You're an idiot...you want the NYPD to catch Banksy because you said he is a vandal? Get your priorities straight Bloomy....we have reckless motorcycle gangs terrorizing motorists, etc. Banksy is no threat.
To my Ghetto neighbors...i.e. Bed-Sty, East NY, etc...some of you are on YouTube being shown harrassing people for taking pictures of Banksy's works on "your" walls and intimidating them for money....first off they are not "your" walls, secondly go get a job if you need money that bad instead of hanging on the street corner all day.
Lastly, to my fellow artists bad mouthing Banksy as a cheat off Le Rat whatever his name is in France....everyone pioneers something and then there are the people that "carry the torch"....Banksy is that guy.
Buy this book. It's awesome.