Banksy Sucks?


We received an email today with the subject line: “anonymity is knowing everybody that knows of you” and the mysterious URL in the body: Followed the link to find the not-so-subtle .gif splash page above with a cheery midi rendition of the Cheers tune. (Presumably for its hook, “where everyone knows your name.”) Someone doesn’t like Bansky, I take it. Whether you love him or loathe him, Banksy has been the closest thing to this decade’s controversial Warholian art star. The site above clearly takes a jab at the fact that the identity of the internationally-famous British street artist is still “unknown.” Is Banksy still anonymous and “street” when the likes of Jude law and Brangelina shell out cool millions on his work? What do you think?

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  • Banksy makes unsophisticated, easily digested work that does not deserve the level of attention it’s being given. That, coupled with the cult of personality surrounding him makes him an understandably unlikeable character. Ever since his work has moved from the streets to the internet and the gallery it has been out of context.

  • Does Banksy suck? NO. Is he famous? YES. But what does that have to do with street cred? Isn’t graffiti about fame and getting up?

  • natasha

    Hahaha, whoever made that site has mistaken themselves. Surely they know his actual name isn’t Banksy… therefore, he is still anonymous in the sense that no one fucking knows who he is.

  • dark wing duck

    that is the ever present paradox that anything “underground” or “independent” finds itself in. as soon as recognition from an institutional source comes it is no longer legitimate. ignore the fact that many street/graffiti artists have been working for institutional validation as ‘art’ for years. the same is true of music or films or whatever. i don’t see how institutionalization automatically means invalidation.

  • Amir

    Great discussion. I personally like some of Banksy’s outdoor work but I do think that he dilutes his own work by adding so much hype and marketing into the mix. Once he puts his work in a gallery it loses all context and meaning for me.

  • It’s crazy he’s still “anonymous”….surely someone MUST know who the hell he is…right?? Is it that easy to be anonymous still? Surely his gallerists…or Brangelina…know who Banksy is?

  • sam

    Obviously his name isn’t banksy, but let’s not kid ourselves. Banksy is his identity. Banksy is his personality. You think that if he lets his identity be known he’ll go by George Smith? I have a feeling he’ll stick with Banksy since that’s his artistic identity. I don’t think that Banksy sucks as an artist, but I think it’s a bit silly to keep talking about how he’s so street for being anonymous when he is known by the teenagers who shop urban outfitters.

  • Amir

    Some great points Sam.

  • RandyB

    haha, “and they’re always glad you came…” fuck yea they are, it’s not graffiti when you can turn it over to sotheby’s later. being anonymous means rotting in a hospice

  • Alex
  • I completely agree Sam. Like him or not he’s more than his government name.

  • This is one of the biggest wastes of space I’ve seen on the internet.
    Like stated before, you’d have to be a complete idiot to think his parents named him Banksy.
    You would have to be equally stupid to waste 5 minutes to make this terrible eye sore of a website that serves no purpose.

    All this immature trash talk really hurts art/design in my opinion. You either like his art and its message or you don’t. If you disagree with his message then use some creativity and create art the speaks your message. Thats what it’s all about.

    Communicating a message.
    Not immature middle school trash talk.

    The art community also has to stop hating everyone who becomes famous just because they became famous. I feel like Banksy has handled his fame better then anyone else in his position. Look at Shepard Fairey, whoring himself out to whoever has money. While Banksy gives a lot of his work away for free. See many Banksy t-shirts around? Go to his link and click the shop section and you can see it’s not really about the money with him.

  • I always think you’re doing something right if you offend someone…seems like Banksy has stirred up quite the controversy for himself!

  • sam

    Chris, did you read any of the other comments? Like I said before, I doubt the artist of the site thinks the guy’s name is Banksy, but that is his identity. There’s nothing anonymous about world famous art.

    Also, I think you’re failing to see the art that is the site itself. How is it okay to say that the site is a waste of space but not okay to be critical of Banksy?

    All artists are prostitutes. Some just get paid more than others.

  • I guess I see your point there but I don’t consider poorly done animation, type with thick strokes on them, and the cheers logo art.

    But i guess that is a madder of opinion.

  • Droolin

    he didn’t ask to be famous…he just does what he does.there’s nothing wrong with opening up to a wider audience.the whole point is to inspire, to give something….take it or leave it

  • I like that response Droolin 🙂 Love him or leave him, the only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, be nothing, say nothing. And look, he’s certainly got us all talkin’!

  • Droolin

    im glad u liked it .with the post being a couple of weeks old, i didn’t think anybody would see it.i just came across the site today and was going back through a whole lot of pages.

    now excuse me while i snoop around on ur clickable name…

  • I signed up for an alert whenever anyone commented on the post…so I got a little email about it and liked it, thought I’d respond! It’s an interesting topic at any rate. Haha, snoop away! You’ll uncover my very dark and sordid past as….a freelance art writer.

  • Codey

    I think it’s funny that whoever made the site is bashing on him for celebrities knowing of his persona. Banksy can’t control who sees his works, and Bansky doesn’t sell his own art. Auctioneers many a time have sold his art for him, I’d doubt if he saw any of that money.

  • S caspian

    banksy in my opinion is a legend and will go down as a legend as he does something that he is good at and all that and he still anomous as his name isnt know but he is banksy as this is wat the world knows him as and proberly by now wat he knows himself as you can not say he sucks as hes doing something that he believes in and hes obviosly good at it since you know off him he is top class

  • I agree with the first commenter about the easy digestibility of his work. I find the graffiti of the 2 policemen kissing to be particularly stupid. “it’s funneh like coz they are faggots innit?”… as far as the depth of the sense of humor is concerned it’s as profound as the mohammed cartoon. Just like that one, banksy is merely trying to capitalize on very serious issues by making bullshit comments on them. His art is calculated according to target demographics and pie charts.

  • banksy

    hey guys, banksy here, I suck cocks! BUY MY ART BUY MY ART BUY MY ART

  • Cunt

    ‘Banksy doesn’t sell his own art’

    bull fucking shit.

  • Droolin

    he doesn’t sell his stuff.i don’t really get why it would be so awful if he did.what’s wrong with making money? you’ve got to pay the bills somehow.why not do it through something you like to do?

  • Alex

    Why do we automatically assume that ‘Banksy’ is one person?? Is it too crazy to think that its a crew that uses the pseudo name ‘Banksy’ to make it apear that it’s not related to gangs, which everyone knows is the assumption most graffiti is affiliated with. Open your minds.

  • Banksy is slightly creative but mostly boring. If you’ve seen five pieces you’ve pretty much seen them all. He is extremely predictable. And now for Banksy’s latest piece: A British police officer doing something vulgar! Amazing!

  • Zach

    OK, so I’ve read all the above comments. 1st one has it right. Stencils and spray paint friends, stencils and spray paint. Ooooh it’s vandalism too! And Jonnie Depp also loves “Banksy”!

  • AuntieT

    Zach, is that you? By the way, I have to agreee with your sentiment, Bansky tries too hard.

  • rob

    It’s not about knowing his real name. It’s the fact that he internationally known and his work is being purchased for millions which is kind of what he was always against. Like someone said, his stuff if easy to digest. Completely different from Warhol.