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Wall and Piece

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  208,223 ratings  ·  856 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 2005)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  208,223 ratings  ·  856 reviews

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Mar 26, 2009 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wall and Piece, Banksy

Artistic genius, political activist, painter and decorator, mythic legend or notorious graffiti artist? The identity of Banksy remains unknown, but his work is prolific. This title is the collected works of Britain's most wanted artist.

His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls, and bridges throughout the world.

Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces. Banksy no longer sells phot
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 21, 2010 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?

Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-britain-uk
Famously known for his self-shredding Girl with the Balloon right after it was auctioned for $1.3 million in October 2018, Banksy is a creative and reclusive genius. As a graffiti artist and activist, he has a wicked sense of humor and lively imagination. Nothing appears beyond his satirical attention from Queen Elizabeth, the Metropolitan police, Disney, McDonald's, corporate brands and logos, historic monuments, livestock, and the Palestinian Wall. Smiley faced riot garbed police, rats in back ...more
Jan 17, 2011 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
Oct 07, 2014 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.” ...more

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


Update 6 October 2018

Banksy artwork 'doubles in value' after being shredded in front of stunned onlookers moments after it was sold for over £1m at Sotheby's auction.
Wie gewon
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I loved this. Particularly this

Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(my copy has the "now with 10% more crap" red sticker in the lower right corner)

This book holds examples of graffiti/stencil artist Banksy, from 2001 to 2006, which aren't always on walls, and not always just with paint :) Sometimes it's just his name. Often the photographs have information with it: time, place, how long did it take to do it, how long it lasted - at least once in the last one the art was saved into a collection!

Surfaces: walls, animals, on grass and beach sand, vehicles of road
Jon Nakapalau
Thought provoking and powerful - a tour de force of the absurdity that has become institutionalized in our modern world.
Maggie Stiefvater
May 09, 2010 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
Brett C
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music-film-art
This man is deep! His graffiti is truly as unique and individual as it gets. Fallen angels, Cancelled Dreams, monkeys with signs reading “One Day I’ll Be in Charge”, SWAT Team policemen with smiley faces canvased on their heads, and much more. Banksy I think is a true rebel that expresses himself in art and stylistic graffiti that has messages of anti-authority, independent thinking, and even some self-criticism. What I like most about Banksy is that he doesn’t let it go to his head. Get this bo ...more
Mar 14, 2010 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
Sara Alaee
Mar 13, 2015 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
Jun 26, 2013 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"!
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Earlier this week Banksy's Devolved Parliament was sold for £9.9M. I am sure Banksy's haters wouldn't be too happy about it (ask their partners what they did that night :P) and Banksy would be having a hell of a laughter over this.

My friend, a fellow Banksy lover, commented
"If you show people some (exquisite) meaning in what you do, they'll resort immediately to revaluing the entire thing in terms of money"
But of course this time he was talking about the strip club they went to, in the summer.
Steven Godin
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
An impressive collection of Banky's work, plus, this book has the added bonus of him commenting on his own art, rather than someone else. Never has anyone made drab walls get our full attention more than Banksy. Anyone truly interested in him should check it out. ...more
Aug 02, 2009 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
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking....
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, politics, art
I still remember the balloon girl painting getting shredded. That was the epic moment when I got acquainted with his works.
Banksy's works are thought-provoking. It's creativity and urban art at its best. He's not only a mere street artist but also an epic troll with a refined sense of humour.
"Wall and Piece" highlights Banksy's works around the world. In a photography album look-a-like, he presents some of his street paintings in collage format, quick political thoughts/quotes, and stimulating
Sep 22, 2010 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
Hasan Makhzoum
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
During my studies at the Law school, I came across this poetic expression in a boring document about the administrative decentralization in the EU: The world is like your home, except that it has few more walls..
To me, the essence of Banksy's art incarnates this quote for it is humanistic and internationalist.

Banksy is an English artist from Bristol and that’s all we know.
He remains anonymous and is still hiding his real identity, like the awesome guys from the Daft Punk. He is internationally
Himanshu Karmacharya
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wall and Piece contains a magnificent display of graffiti wall arts by Banksy, that are thought-provoking, and reflect the actual face of society and politics.
Rupert Dreyfus
Sep 21, 2015 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
Feb 13, 2012 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
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
Aug 01, 2011 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
Dec 21, 2009 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
Kasa Cotugno
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: subj-art
I love all things Banksy. His anarchy, his talent, his profound use of found space.
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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

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