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Wall and Piece

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  128,344 Ratings  ·  631 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 March 7th 1988)
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Dec 04, 2013 Manny rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 13, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
After seeing this next post on Tumblr, I simply had to add this book to my TBR.

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

I was looking for something to lift my spirits a bit, and thank the stars for sending this piece of art in my direction. Wall and Piece is guaranteed to brighten even your bleakest day.

Banksy, Britain's now-legendary "guerilla" street artist, has painted the walls, streets, and bridges of towns and cities throughout the world.

Wall and Piece sets the mood wi
Nov 27, 2010 Mon rated it liked it
Shelves: art-architecture
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?

Jan 17, 2011 Kirsti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jenny, Kristin
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
Jonathan Ashleigh
Jan 31, 2016 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it
“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it's wet.”
May 30, 2013 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I loved this. Particularly this

Jul 30, 2016 Amir rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
شاید خود بنکسی بهتر از همه گفته باشه: یه عده میخوان پلیس بشن که دنیا رو بهتر کنن؛ یه عده هم میخوان وندال باشن که ظاهر دنیا رو بهتر کنن.

گرفیتیهای بنکسی پر از ایدههای دوستداشتنی و انسانیه. مخصوصا مجموعهی فلسطینش و همینطور مجموعهی میمون و موزها. بد نیست نگاهی بندازید بهش
Maggie Stiefvater
May 09, 2010 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2010 notgettingenough rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, sociology
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 comp

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who know the work of Banksy, and those who should. I recommend this book to both.

I think this quote from the back cover says a lot about Banksy:
"There's no way you're going to get a quote 
from us on your book cover"

Metropolitan Police spokesperson


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Dec 04, 2013 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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"!
Sara Alaee
Mar 14, 2015 Sara Alaee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who love art!
Shelves: non-fiction, art
This book is a collection of Graffitis that “Banksy” - one of the world’s most famous street artists - has painted on walls, streets, bridges and many other open places throughout the world. Quite amazing and artistic. (To know what graffiti is, the following lines give the best explanation of it as a piece of art):

“Graffiti is not the lowest from of art. Despite having to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s actually the most honest artform available. There is no elitism or hype, it ex
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
Sep 22, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
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
Christina Wilder
Brilliant, goddamned brilliant.

Rupert Dreyfus
Sep 28, 2015 Rupert Dreyfus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, art
There are many great stencilists in this world (Orion and Fairey come to mind), but Banksy is up there with the best of them. Some people enjoy hating on him because he makes loads of money out of stencilling these days and his messages are sometimes vaguely anti-establishment. I remember Charlie Brooker once dedicating a whole article to how much he thinks Banksy blows nuts and it's the only time I've found myself disagreeing with my personal Jesus.

This is because if we focus on the artistry r
Aug 03, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing
“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
Bryce Holt
Mar 07, 2012 Bryce Holt rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 21, 2009 Pheobe rated it liked it
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
Sep 13, 2016 Fiona rated it really liked it
I really like Banksy's art and even though the "hype" is over he still plays an important role in street art and shows in great ways what's wrong with this society - which ironically loves him for this.
May 23, 2012 Matthijs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Rick Christiansen
Jul 24, 2011 Rick Christiansen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
This is an art book, but here some of my favorite quotes:

"Despite what they say graffitti is not the lowest form of'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.

Emily (Falling for YA)
Apr 03, 2015 Emily (Falling for YA) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This was a coffee table-esque book. It was primarily pictures of Banksy's pieces. Some I had seen before, some I hadn't.

Still, I love the work Banksy does and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I ended up reading it while sitting next to my Mom and she kept looking over my shoulder when I'd laugh or shake my head. It's one thing to show someone an image you like online it's another thing to show them a picture in a book and have them want to read it after you're done.

Update: Mom read and loved it =P
May 27, 2012 abatage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arts
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
Dec 08, 2008 Tatiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf, art
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
Nov 09, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it
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
Jan 21, 2009 Keith rated it it was amazing
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

"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
Jan 23, 2016 Sean rated it did not like it
Shelves: art
"Witty and subversive"
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what is your favorite peice in the book? 4 66 Feb 07, 2013 10:15AM  
  • Banksy Locations & Tours: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs in London, England
  • Obey: Supply and Demand
  • Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents
  • Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture
  • Gonzo: The Art
  • FRUiTS
  • Banksy.: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat
  • Stencil Graffiti
  • Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  • The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1)
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
  • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)
  • Darkwerks: The Art of Brom
  • Subway Art
  • M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work
  • Concerning the Spiritual in Art
  • Anatomy for the Artist
  • Hand Job: A Catalog of Type
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 about Banksy...

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“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.” 588 likes
“A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves.” 494 likes
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