An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Banksy vs the Bristol Museum



After a two hour queue - and this was midweek and before the kids have broken up from school - we managed to get in to see the Banksy exhibition. Banksy is a Bristol graffiti artist. It now looks like he has become mainstream; all the postcards were sold out.

Is this art? Is it a joke? or is it both? I'm not sure. There is no doubt that there is creativity and much playfulness involved. What was interesting is that he is subverting many popular art forms and making a comment on society - and in some respects his art works like Jesus' parables.

This was a take on Jean-François Millet's The Gleaners (1857) with the subtitle - agency work.


Or this:



The captions read: 'Does anyone take this kind of art seriously?' 'Never underestimate the power of a big gold frame'.

Loads of photos from the exhibit are available on flickr see here.

4 comments:

ordinand said...

Hi Steve,

I went to see Banksy a few weeks ago and came out feelign quite disturbed. For me, his exibition showed the bankruptcy of how how many people percieve the world.
1) all authority figures were mocked (police, religious figures).
2) it seemed to deconstruct society without offering a solution
3) creation was chnaged in sevral pieces to show how we see things through a consumeristic lense. ie. chickens are no longer functioning in several modal aspects but are reduced to chicken nuggets. creation has been consumerised

If u ask me it would have been great for a local church to have held some open lectures which describe and critique the worldviews which Banksy offers us, or challenges us to rethink...

Banksy is a bit like Neitsche. A prophet of his generation but one hwo leaves a bad taste in your mouth

Topher said...

Steve,
Hi there. I have always enjoyed the playfulness that he brings to his work— the subtle but powerful intrusions into the routine of the day. When he first started back in the early 90's he was doing this as street art, and functioned undercover.

But, his message has always been a mocking one, a kind of righteous indignation at the assumed superficiality of, well, the rest of us. He might make us question ourselves, but I think his cost is too high— he would annihilate one of the best things God has given to us: pleasure in the beautiful, as a simple unadorned pleasure.

in Christ,
CHris

Steve Bishop said...

Thanks Jon and Chris for your insightful comments.

I agree he is mocking of society and he does without offering a solution. I like the comparison with Nietzsche.

I wonder how he would answer the worldview questions. Here are a few intial thoughts

It seems that he sees the world as a world without meaning, without norms. Or if there are norms they are to be broken or poked fun at.

What's the problem? Our inhumanity to each other and in particular to animals (chickens are nuggets, creative monkeys are imprisioned and rabbits are abused for cosmetic testing).

What's the solution? Is there any?

Any other suggestions?

scott davidson said...

Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from wahooart.com, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT7K6.