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It's been almost impossible to escape the images of Banksy's street-graffiti cartoons on the Net, for the past couple of years. As Paddy suggests, "Internet nerds" have much to do with elevating this artist to the level where he can be collected by Brad Pitt. This post is a mea culpa for reBlogging an image of the work as an Eyebeam reBlogger in '04. I suppose I was impressed by the scale of some of the pieces sprayed on buildings in rundown neighborhoods--as I recall, I reBlogged a giant rat--but I've never really liked the clip-art-cutesy style and dislike the artist's faux-Dickensian handle. One-word artist names are inherently pretentious! As Banksy gets more and more hyped, the ideas get worse and worse.
Update, from the comments:
tim: i disagree on your take on the one-word artist-name. it comes out of the graffiti/street art culture -- the farthest thing from pretentious. it's a way to preserve anonymity.
tom: I've never thought of him as a street artist, but rather a Young British Artist using street vernacular and every other means of sophisticated self-hype to become as famous as Jesus Christ.