Wall and Piece
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Wall and Piece

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  74,322 ratings  ·  510 reviews
Banksy, Britain's now-legendary "guerilla" street artist, has painted the walls, streets, and bridges of towns and cities throughout the world. Not only did he smuggle his pieces into four of New York City's major art museums, he's also "hung" his work at London's Tate Gallery and adorned Israel's West Bank barrier with satirical images. Banksy's identity remains unknown,...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published 2006 by Century (first published December 27th 2005)
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Manny
Everyone in Britain knows Banksy, but I'm often surprised to find that my US friends haven't heard of him. He's one of the funniest artists around, and has taken graffiti to a completely new level. The paintings and installations just turn up, in the most unlikely places. Here's one of my favorites, which was discovered one morning on the wall of a family planning clinic in Bristol. (Note the thematically appropriate content). The local authorities were going to remove it, but the doctors asked...more
Mon
Disclaimer: Haters are not cool. I'm not 'hating' Banksy because it's the hipster thing to do (go grab an art school undergrad, you'll see what I mean). One problem with reviewing solo-artist art book is that you can't avoid talking about the actual artist, so here it is. I can't even be bothered to write about graphics. I mean, surely you're only considering buying this book because of the guy not the pretty layout right?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------...more
Kirsti
In 2003, Banksy donated one of his artworks to the Tate Gallery in London. The thing is, the Tate Gallery hadn't actually asked for anything of his. He just walked in (or had a friend walk in, or had a member of the collective walk in--Banksy's true identity is uncertain) and stuck it to the wall. This is just the kind of appalling disrespect that I think the world needs more of.

Over the next couple of years, he made similar donations to the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, th...more
notgettingenough
Added later: I found it quite moving, his description of being drawn to graffiti the outside of the walls imprisoning the Palestinians and being told off in no uncertain terms by the inhabitants. To beautify the walls is to insult them. Of course. Obvious when you think of it.

----------------------------------------

I'm loving this, of course. And it's not that I disagree, exactly, with his messages, but a dominant one is this idea that


The people who truly deface our neighbourhoods are the compa
...more
Manny
I noticed this yesterday in the window of a bookshop on the Route de Carouge. The translator has found quite a clever way of rendering the title: War and Peace in French is Guerre et paix, and "paix" sounds similar to "spray". The odd thing is that he's done it by moving the pun from "War" to "Peace"!
Maggie Stiefvater
Like many people, I just find the story of Banksy -- a sort of artist Robin Hood -- incredibly compelling. In my head this most elusive of graffiti artists looks like Sean Bean and drives a Lotus Elan or something like that. This book spares the words and lavishes the photographs, letting Banksy's political statements, hastily and secretly sprayed onto walls, speak for themselves. If Banksy was just an anarchist, rustling with discontent, this book, and his art, would be unimpressive. But Banksy...more
H
Aug 02, 2009 H added it
Shelves: art
Provocative and clever, but I would argue ultimately vapid. Something like an underground cultural icon for urban youth today. I only see three basic techniques or themes in his methods:

Irony. Soldiers painting peace signs, zoo monkeys holding homeless signs, traffic signs warning of more (or less) serious things. They're all clever enough, but ultimately just artifacts of a stagnant, consumerist generation that's well aware of its stagnation and consumerism. Like television commercials that pok...more
Trevor
May 30, 2013 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
I loved this. Particularly this

Rob
I love Banksy's artwork, and this was collection displays it very well. He's a brilliant man with a paint can, and a clever writer as well. I would recommend this book to anyone not familiar with his work. A few quotes of his I enjoyed were:

Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own.

The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules--it's people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.

A r...more
Jamie
“Nobody ever listened to me until they didn’t know who I was.”

When I lived in LA a few years ago, I went to a downtown warehouse after receiving a text message with the address. Banksy was in town, and in true clandestine fashion, the location of his show was a secret until just hours before it opened. I was impressed. I had never heard of Banksy, but his highly successful, clandestine, guerilla marketing intrigued me. I did a Google search on him and was even more impressed with the images of h...more
Bryce Holt
Banksy is the most original artist (or potentially "artists"...) living today. Screw Matthew Barney's "Cremaster" series and all the Rothko and Rauschenberg nonsense some of the more effete curators shove down your throats. This is art at its most emotional and provocative, and it's in book form (which I assume pisses him off to no end).

Anti-establishment, anti-consumer, anti-intelligencia, and pretty much any other "anti-fill-in-the-blank" you can throw at him, his works are unfathomably creati...more
Pheobe
The first time I heard of Banksy was on this website. I gathered from the summary and people's reviews that, more or less, HE was worth the read, if not the book itself.

I love art, it's my vessel to any interpretation I choose to have, and if you truly love art, there are no lines that a person can't cross. There are no lines that an artist can't draw, no limits.

I firmly believe artists also think differently than normal people. More often, it is the artist who is the introvert or extreme extr...more
Matthew
Banksy is clever without being deep, adventurous without being ground-breaking, and quite possibly the best known visual artist active in the world without being extremely talented. He's against the global soulless corporate machine, but his art is by nature a quick hit, the artistic equivalent of a Big Mac. It's incredibly refreshing and accessible and it's art that actually means something.

In a wander through a museum like the MoMA or the Tate Modern, you see some interesting designs, the occ...more
Rick Christiansen
This is an art book, but here some of my favorite quotes:

"Despite what they say graffitti is not the lowest form of art...it's actually one of the more honest forms available.

A wall has always been the best place to publish your work.

A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.

Why would someone just paint pictures of a revolutionary when you can actually behave like one instead?

Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world I can't even finish my second apple pie.

P...more
Christina Wilder
Brilliant, goddamned brilliant.




Cherie
I was intrigued to see a book about graffiti in the Art genre when I was reviewing the books recommended. I cannot say I am a fan of graffiti, but this title looked interesting. Who knew?

I was facinated by the photos of this artist and author's work. So unique and enigmatic. So unexpected! The book was divided into themed sections and there were a few pages of text that told his story, briefly. He seems to have been all over the world and tagged his name everywhere.

Banksy uses stencils to do his...more
Matthijs
Natuurlijk is Banksy na al die jaren waarin zijn faam gestaag gestegen is, uitgegroeid tot een icoon en daarmee tot een grote paradox. De kunstsector, één van de zelfgenoegzame bastions die hij aanvalt, omarmt hem en kunstliefhebbers betalen duizenden dollars voor zijn werk.
Dat maakt zijn roem wrang en geeft zijn kritiek een zweem van hulpeloosheid. Deze dubbele lading kon in het boek wonderwel tot uiting in de copyrightmelding aan het begin. Banksy is tegen copyright, maar wil toch, naar eigen...more
Tatiana
about a month or so ago i was walking home on houston street and noticed one of those huge side-of-a-building ads. it was a giant rat holding a paint roller with 'no publicity is good publicity' underneath. except underneath the white background of the rat appeared to be a fox 5 ad. i couldn't quite figure out if it was some weird ad-pretending-not-to-be-an-ad, or something else, and then just chalked it up to weird NYC shit.

a week later there's a NY times article about this guy banksy and his...more
abatage
Anyone who has a passing interest in street art will have heard of Banksy and the work he has done. In fact, so many people are aware of his work that it gets a little annoying from time to time, as it becomes a badge of honour for some people. To the point that I was getting sick and tired of hearing people say his name with that knowing tone that seems to say 'yeah, I'm hip too'. Thankfully this book restored my faith in why Banksy's infamy is well deserved.

I've never been able to actually si...more
Keith
British graffiti, guerilla installation, etc. artist's book of documented works and quotes. It's great fun for anyone with a bit of an anarchist bent to their personality. Even if, for some reason, you strongly disapprove of graffiti, you gotta admit Banksy's stuff is pretty cool (I think you do anyway, but who am I to tell you what to think). He may be too well known and hip for his political message to be heard now, unfortunately... I'm not sure, but it's my sense that to a lot of folks once i...more
Jamil

"The people who run our cities don't understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit...They say graffiti frightens people and is symbolic of the decline in society, but graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people; politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers.

"The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl their giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unle...more
Tara
This book is funny, provocative and at times, borders on anarchy. As Banksy himself states, you will love him, hate him or you won't really care. So, how you feel about this book will be very personal. Does it speak to you, or not?

It did speak to me. I don't hold Banksy on a pedestal as some do, but I appreciate what he is creating. Art that challenges us. "What we need in this race is a lot more streakers." Or maybe just more provocative graffiti writers.

Banksy is clever (probably too clever fo...more
Nicole Bunge
If you do not know Banksy, you do not know art.
Art as in confrontational, public, political, and utter satire.
He's a tagger/graffiti artist (supposedly anonymous) who bombs* London and the English countryside.
*bombing is the sorta-militant, hip-hop term for "defacing" public areas with your statement in graffiti. For taggers - it's all about the 'get-up' - ie, how frequently you bomb- how daringly public it is (like on the wall of a London Police Station in the middle of the afternoon where mill...more
Young Lightning in Dark Sky
Banksy...ah. One of my favorite artistes...Yes, I mean to say that in French, because it sounds better. Anywho, Banksy, a classic Guerilla-Political-Mad-Skilled stencil artist-OK, so he's a graffitti artist. But in this book, you realize just from the photoes that he's a quick-witted guy, with a mysterious twang, which is really cool. His classic humor includes spraypainting on farm animals and a fetish for stencilling rats. My brother, a stencil artist who prefers painting his stencils onto cla...more
Miroku Nemeth
If you don't know Banksy--or if you do, and you love art with contemporary social and political relevance--you will love this book. Beautiful presentation of his works, including the apartheid wall in Palestine, and some extremely poignant, incendiary, and funny writing. I am down with street art that is real--taking back the public space that corporations have sought to dominate--as RATM said we need to "take the power back."

"The people who run our cities don't understand graffiti because they...more
G (galen)
First of all, you can find out a little about Banksy, the pseudo-anonymous graffiti artist, Here.

The copyright page of this book contains the label "Copyright is for Losers" along with the statement that "against his better judgment Banksy has asserted his right... to be identified as the author of this work." There is also a disclaimer from the publisher: "This book shows the creative/artist element of graffiti art and is not meant to encourage or induce graffiti where it is illegal or inapprop...more
Helen
Jun 13, 2013 Helen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: funny
I might as well go ahead and say it; I do understand why graffiti is illegal, and I now understand the reason for this.

It’s not because of vandalism or anything like that – oh gosh no. It’s for a more valid reason than that! The police just make you think it’s because of that, when in fact they want to stop crappy graffiti. You know the ones: where they write sayings that don’t make sense (mainly because their spelling is incorrect), or a man’s-you-know-what’s, or just generally bad spray-paint...more
Becky
An art book that probably hates that it's an art book. Of note:

"There's no way you're going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover" --Metropolitan Police spokesperson, quoted on back cover

"Copyright is for losers" --copyright page

"Despite what they say graffiti is not the lowest form of art. Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it's actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has t...more
Amber Bennett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nina J. Kors
Il libro di Banksy fa luce non solo sulla società britannica, ma su tutta la società occidentale, sui suoi protocolli di pensiero, sulle cose date per acquisite e ovvie.
Apre, anzi, spalanca finestre su pensieri nuovi.
Banksy si mostra in questo libro per quello che veramente é: un intelletto fine, un pensiero raffinato, un lettore attento della società, un uomo colto e preparato, mai veramente irrispettoso delle altre persone, attento alla propria incolumità e un rivoluzionario dentro.

Disegna di...more
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what is your favorite peice in the book? 4 59 Feb 07, 2013 10:15AM  
  • Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents
  • Obey: Supply and Demand
  • M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work
  • Gonzo: The Art
  • Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature
  • Concerning the Spiritual in Art
  • Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture
  • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)
  • FRUiTS
  • Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation
  • The Story of Art
  • Ways of Seeing
  • Banksy.: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat
  • The Art of Looking Sideways
  • Diane Arbus: Monograph
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
  • Anatomy for the Artist
  • It Chooses You
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Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Banksy's work was born...more
More about Banksy...
Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall Cut It Out Exitstencilism Banksy Locations & Tours: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs in London, England Pictures of Walls

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“A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves.” 432 likes
“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It's people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.” 418 likes
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