Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Great Big Banksy Post

I'd like to assume everyone knows who Banksy is, but then again, there was a point not too long ago when I didn't.
One of the nice things about this site is that it also acts as a personal timeline for me. Case in point: when I met Sarah and she shared this Banksy tattoo, I then became aware of the entity that made a name for himself (quite literally) by spray-painting graffiti around London.

How serious is this Banksy? When his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for an Oscar a couple years back, and he was in Los Angeles for the awards, he struck his graffiti claws into the City of Angels.

Art collectors were prepared, and within hours of his work being discovered, they had at it with jack hammers and chisels, removing the public display for private collectors, presumably at great profits.

I have since become familiar with Banksy through additional tattoo sightings (like this one) and from reading a few of the lovely books on the subject.

Last fall, I found two new books, companion volumes, that are exceptional introductions to Banksy, and also great companions to Banksy aficionados.






The two volumes, Banksy Locations & Tours Volume 1: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs in London, Englandand Banksy Locations & Tours Volume 2: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs from around the UKare great companion pieces that help one discover the work of Banksy. The author, Martin Bull, is a photographer who led walking tours of Banksy's public art in various English locales. He has taken great pains to catalog every Banksy piece, many of which have been demolished, painted over, or extricated from their original homes.

We even get GPS coordinates, so a true connoisseur can visit Banksy's ghosts.

Bull gets a little repetitive bemoaning the "theft" of the originasl and cursing those that profit from their sale. But I was able to look past that, and chalk it up to his uncompromising love of his subject.

These are not glossy tomes, but handy little guidebooks that would be worthy travel companions on any Banksy fan's pilgrimage to London.

And why am I rambling and reviewing these books here on Tattoosday?

I did mention two previous Banksy inspired posts and, it should come as no surprise, I have two more to share from 2011, as we come very close to the end of our backlog.

The first is from Natasha who I met in the now-vacant Borders bookstore on Penn Plaza. She has this piece on her arm:


One of Banksy's signature pieces is the rat, and he has multiple sequences of street art that involve rats, which are perfect vehicles for shining lights on society. This particular piece from Natasha is a "helicopter rat".


She credits Hexx, formerly at Fort Apache Tattoo Studio in Manhattan. 

Natasha told me, "I was actually surprised when I got this that more people didn't recognize it, because so many people know Banksy now." The rat using a helicopter blade to paint in a presumably inaccessible location is a classic Banksy motif.

The second Banksy piece we're appreciating today is from Taylor, whose ink has appeared previously in Tattoosday here.

Since Taylor first appeared on Tattoosday, she's had a lot of work done, but most impressive is this Banksy piece on her lower back:



This tattoo is based on this amazing Banksy piece:


When I asked Taylor why she chose this particular piece of art, she replied "The way it's raining underneath the umbrella, I feel like it's always raining on me."

She credits Angel at Puncture Tattoo Studio in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, with inking this on her back.

Thanks to Natasha and Taylor for sharing their work with us here on Tattoosday. And, of course, thanks to Banksy for providing the inspiration.


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