Banksy’s latest installation/escapade is interactive in a way that only this artist could pull off.
“A Great British Spraycation” highlights the reaction to the the graffiti artist’s murals in seaside towns across Britannia, as well as some coveted behind-the-scenes footage showing the artiste at work, plus views of a distinctly unglamorous motorhome (or campervan, if you prefer/watch too many British murder mysteries like me).
Watch it now.
Owning up, Looking on
Banksy’s oeuvre has a distinct look as well as a distinct politic, but the content was spread across five towns in a way that spread doubt about its origins as well as ideas about social commentary.
Per Jenny Brewer of It’s Nice That, “While until recently the pieces were only rumoured to be the works of the globally infamous graffiti artist, Banksy has now officially owned up via a film posted on his Instagram.”
This summertime set also features some more 3D elements, including an ice cream cone and false tongue added to statue, plus messaging in on the side of a miniature barn (reading “Go Big or Go Home!”, natch).
Banksy also uses this video to prove that he is in on the joke, sharing less than approving feedback with a wink and a nod (and perhaps an eye to both his critics and effervescent art critics alike).
Inevitable Backlash and Change
No matter how innocuous or pedestrian Banksy’s public art may seem to casual observers or diehard fans, where the spray paint and stencils go, so follows controversy.
“One of the murals from this prolific period is already gone,” Art News’ Tessa Solomon reports. “Earlier this week, a Banksy mural depicting two children on an inflatable dinghy was taken off view by local authorities in Great Yarmouth. Council members in the town told the BBC that the artwork was covered up amid ‘sensitivity’ to a young girl who died after being flung from an inflatable trampoline on a nearby beach in 2018.”
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Despite the likely conversations around guerrilla art and community buy-in for the remaining works, This Is Colossal identified a common thread for the towns that can lay claim to the pieces. “Coincidentally or perhaps intentionally, three of the cities the artist worked in—Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, and Lowestoft—are competing to become the next UK City of Culture in 2025.”
Time will tell whether Banksy’s latest will go the way of some of his early work, middle chaos, or if they will blend in with preexisting seaside screeds.
It’s also probably worth remembering that this is Banksy experimenting with his chosen art form, returning to the medium that made him(?!?) an artworld darling, rather than coining another NFT. Is a focus on earthbound, non-Metaverse materials a statement in and of itself? Probably. Also, probably not.
After all, this is Banksy we are over-analyzing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯