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April 2009, Newsletter

January 2009, Newsletter
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January 2009, Newsletter
Fact or Fiction?

In this section, we shall look at art that in the past or in contemporary times has questioned and influenced the parameters of art in their own time and space. We don’t plan to judge good art, but observe various ways in which the image making is undertaken by different artists around the globe. Here we shall talk about them, their works and their market position; leaving it to the recipient to produce their own opinion in response to the work and analyse for themselves, the credibility of a work as a work of art, or in the process experience a modulation of taste.

How art is often defined? From where does the ‘precious’ element in art comes from? Generally of all that is drawn and coloured; the works that feature in galleries and museum spaces; with mediums like canvas, oil, clay, metal and so on are considered art with a capital ‘A’. Would you call images and text drawn on the street wall- ‘Art’?

Banksy is a famous British graffiti artist, whose works adorn the street walls as canvas, featuring stencil figures and graffiti writing. Subversive, political and satirical, his works have created a stimulus to react to, for which one does not need to go to a museum or a gallery, but the works come to the people, on the streets. Banksy is not his real name, his personal identity is publically anonymous and uncertain. The registrant of Banksy's website is Steve Lazarides, a photographer. Lazarides is Banksy's agent. Lazarides has a gallery on Greek Street in London's Soho called Laz Inc, where Banksy originals can be bought.

Banksy does not sell the photos of street graffiti or mount exhibitions of screen prints in commercial galleries. Though his works are on streets, can be viewed by everyone and is exposed to damages by environmental factors; in 2007, Sotheby’s auction house auctioned three of his works, reaching highest price ever for Banksy: £102,000, for his Bombing Middle England. He made a mural in Bristol in February 2007, which the owner of the house decided to sell, the offers fell rejected as the prospective buyers wanted to remove the mural; it was henceforth listed as mural which comes with a house attached.

Graffiti Art has a history and need of its own, it comes in the modern times with the hip hop culture; but is often considered childish by people or dirty and offensive by the city municipality if done on the public walls. It holds in it a desire to mark presence, something like “I was here...”. It was never imagined to become part of art with capital ‘A’, something to be admired and owned. But still it rises to prominence, comes into the circle of purchasable art. What do you think? What value an art work like this holds for its spectators? What questions it creates and what anxieties does it resolve?

‘People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish... but that's only if it's done properly.’

‘The segregation wall is a disgrace... The possibility I find exciting is you could turn the world’s most invasion and degrading structure into the world’s longest gallery of free speech and bad Art.’

A stencil of Charles Manson in a prison suit, hitchhiking to anywhere, Archway, London.

Banksy art in Brick Lane, East End, 2004.