There is no doubting the impact Banksy has had on multiple aspects of our society and this editorial by Vandalog raises some interesting thoughts about how the artist will progress from here. A worthwhile read on many accounts, and I am certain it will raise some great discussion so I suggest taking time out.
“Can Banksy die? I’ve got no doubt that the man who was writing the name Banksy on Bristol’s walls in the 1990′s can and will, at some point, die. That’s not what I’m wondering though. Keith Haring has been dead for more than 20 years, but you can still buy new products with his imagery. Similarly, Basquiat’s estate released prints after his death. But those artists had names and faces. Even after their deaths, products can still be made using their images, but there’s not going to be any new imagery. But Banksy (the brand, not the man) doesn’t have those same constraints. Disney didn’t die with Walt Disney. Is Banksy one man or many people?
While he is anonymous, Banksy is publicly portrayed as being one person. But what does that one person actually do these days when it comes to making art?
Banksy doesn’t paint all of his street art. That’s well-established. Shepard Fairey has said so(thanks to Mischa for the link to that article) and, in the latest issue of Very Nearly Almost, Eine says that he used to paint street pieces for Banksy. Of course, there were even those rats that Banksy hired sign painters to paint in NYC back in 2008. Given his high-profile status and the risks associated with painting, it probably makes legal sense for assistants to paint Banksy’s street pieces. If I were in Banksy’s position, I probably wouldn’t risk painting all of my own street pieces either.
Thanks to PSFK for the info.