The Banksy effect: from the street protest to the commercial product

"Like many people in the art world, I bought a yacht to make a cruise through the Mediterranean," said an ironic banksy on Instagram. Because his yacht-crui

The Banksy effect: from the street protest to the commercial product

"Like many people in the art world, I bought a yacht to make a cruise through the Mediterranean," said an ironic banksy on Instagram. Because his yacht-cruise was a rescue ship of immigrants manned by activists and members of different NGOs that sailed from Burriana (Castellón) in August 2020. It is not that Banksy sail through the Waters of the Mediterranean saving refugees, only placed the media: He bought a ship 30 meters in length, painted it on white and pink with his iconic girl with a globe in maritime version (wears a life jacket and raising his arm to reach a heart-shaped rescue buoy) and delivered it to the humanitarian project Louise Michel, who takes the name of an anarchist and French poet. Although the artist had been preparing the solidarity action for a year preparing it did not have as much transcendence as the millionaire auctions of him.

Everyone knows Banksy, more than Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Gerhard Richter or Beeple, the most quoted artists at the moment. But nobody knows who is Banksy, although it has been speculated with different identities. That anonymity is one of the keys to his success and his character: A boy from Bristol born in 1974 who began to paint rats and chimpanzees at the end of the 80s. Banksy has created authentic icons on the streets and has made the graffiti between In museums and shoot the prices of the art market. In spite of him. The work of him is based on the complaint of power, in the fierce criticism, in the street protest, in the urban guerrilla: as if Robin Hood or the anonymous protagonist of Veletta put a spray in his hand. But Banksy is also a product of the system that he attempts to dynamite, phage on the dynamics of capitalism that integrates criticism as part of its structure to deactivate it and self-developing.

From a rebel boy in Bristol and agitator of conscience to Elite of the Showbusiness, with works decorating the rich and famous houses (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spent one million in one of them). Banksy is a fashion brand. And very profitable. "The average annual performance of Banksy is 8.5%, with an increase in value of its works of 76.5%," calculate from Sotheby's, where they have reached another record. On October 14, the famous semitriturated work is in the bin (love is in garbage), which reached a whopping 18.5 million pounds sterling (25.4 million dollars). In 2018, a collector from which identity has not been filtered paid for more than 1 million pounds by the painting at an auction that looked normal. Once the Bid War is finished, "there is up to nine buyers," a hidden mechanism in the frame began to crush the paint, which was halfway. Supposedly, it was a technical failure: Banksy's intention was to destroy it completely to denounce the mercarticilization of art.

The distance performance of Banksy was encumbeded as a new milestone of contemporary art, a celebration of destruction as creation, the best concept to represent the present time. Quickly, art critics connected the Happening with the historical avant-garde, the Dadaism and the gesture of Marcel Duchamp of planting a urinal in an exhibition in 1917 (which changed the history of art). Banksy is enrolled in that stream of artists of destruction: Rauschenberg deleted a drawing of Kooning in 1953, Michael Landy destroyed all his possessions, an old man Joan Miró burned his canvases in the series of burned fabrics, Ai Weiwei threw a urn of the dynasty have ...

"When the big auction houses begin to sell [my works] everything goes from mother. It seemed that everything went from money. And it was never like that. Fame and money do not count, "Banksy admitted at camera, under the hood of his black sweatshirt in the documentary he directed in 2010, Exit Through The Gift Shop.

The truth is that each new criticism increases the Banksy quote. The more you try to escape from the Establishment, more Establishment becomes. To the point that it has become a product outside of its own control. Currently, a score of unauthorized exhibitions can be seen around the world, with prices ranging from seven to 29 euros. "Banksy has nothing to do with any of the current or recent exposures and that they do not look at anything to an authentic Banksy show. They can be a shit, so do not come to us to get a refund, "warn from Pest Control, the company created by Banksy to develop its projects and its only legal and artistic representation (has no reservoir or marching).

On November 12, the Disseny Hub in Barcelona will inaugurate the Magna the art of the protest, one of its betting of the season with dozens of Banksy originals, assigned by the collector themselves. It is a production of the Sold Out cultural entertainment company, which organizes both interactive samples of the throne game universe or Jurassic Park as monographic about David Bowie or a reconstruction of the tutankamon tomb. Sold Out has already billed three exhibitions about Banksy (The Art of Protest, The Street Is A Canvas, Genius or Vandal?), Who, in addition to spinning Europe and Malaga were also seen. «Banksy has acquired the category of phenomenon and is one of the brightest and most important artists of our time. His work is a challenge for the system, a protest, an extremely well-built brand, a mystery, a disobedience to the law ... we want each visitor of this exhibition to solve for himself who is really banksy: a genius or A hooligan?, An artist or an entrepreneur?, A provocative or a rebel? "He explains the Commissioner of the three signs of Banksy, the Russian Alexander Nachkebiya, which holds the same thesis for all.

With the art of protest, there will be two exhibitions dedicated to Banksy in Barcelona. In February 2020, after the success obtained in Paris, The World of Banksy was inaugurated in the Trafalgar space. Here the graffiti is recreated to real size and reproductions and lithographs of the works of him are shown: a very instagramable exposure with phrases of Banksy which slogans, decontextualized, as if they were a playlist of scattered tubs. You even reproduce a Walled Off Hotel room, which the artist opened in 2017 in Palestine, facing the Bethlehem wall. He also painted a pigeon of peace and a gap with views on the concrete wall built by Israel. The artist himself liked a meeting with a neighbor as he painted:

«Old: You have painted the wall, you have made it look beautiful.

Banksy: Thank you.

Old: we do not want it to look pretty, we hate this wall. Go home".

An odious wall that is also reproduced at The World of Banksy, with its souvenir of rigor in the gift shop. Even the protest becomes merchandising.

Updated Date: 07 November 2021, 06:48

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