If you don’t know who Banksy is, find out. If you do, you may be interested to know that he made a movie that is debuting tomorrow at the Sundance Film Festival.
In the late 1990s, a hybrid form of graffiti began appearing in cities around the world. Enlisting stickers, stencils, posters, and sculpture and spread by the burgeoning Internet, it would be labeled “street art” and establish itself as the most significant counterculture movement of a generation. Los Angeles-based filmmaker Terry Guetta set out to record this secretive world in all its thrilling detail. For more than eight years, he traveled with the pack, roaming the streets of America and Europe, the stealthy witness of the world’s most infamous vandals. But after meeting the British stencil artist known only as “Banksy,” things took a bizarre turn.
I can’t wait. No, I mean that, I really can’t wait. Does anyone know where I can see it RIGHT NOW? Anyone?
About four years ago I wrote an essay on the the declining status of artists in public life. It detailed how cultural imperialists sought to brand artists as petty amusements who should dance smartly for us and keep their opinions to themselves (i.e. Shut Up and Sing). What an unholy perversion of the purpose of art.
Now, more than ever, we must support our creative advocates. They are the emotive flank of our army and they can inspire and motivate far better than the lecturers who holler at us and wave from their podiums.
I wrote in part in The Rise Of The Art Insurgency that…
…there has arisen a class of self-appointed, civic hall monitors who believe that they can decide who passes through the corridors of free expression. These martinets of virtue want artists to repress their natural inclination to share their insight and their soul.
Every great social movement was fueled in part by the arts – from the Napoleonic era Disasters of War by Goya, to the guerilla postering of Robbie Conal. The art insurgency is latent now, but it is strong and committed. Like other insurgencies, it blends in with the populace and can strike with fierce and startling force. It stockpiles its weapons of mass construction for the building of consensus and passion and hope.<
Banksy is the embodiment of this philosophy. His public art is a free shot of adrenaline to a world that is too often half asleep or numbed by too many blows to the head.