Am I the only one who thinks Banksy is extremely overrated?

I’m not sure why everyone continues to fawn over this pretentious douchebag and his mediocre street art. Every time this guy and his crew puts something up, people are tripping over themselves to blindly praise it and preserve it like it’s the next Mona Lisa.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the critics who think he’s nothing more than a pointless vandal. I’ve had previous experience in dealing with pointless vandals, and Banksy’s work is preferable to the shitty scribblings of some teenage tagger. For the most part, his art does actually look decent and well done (for street art, anyway). What I’m taking issue with is Banksy’s self-righteous attitude, his hypocrisy, and the over-valuation of his work.

Everyone praises Banksy for his social commentary. Why? What exactly is so stunning and unique about it? “War is bad, people are greedy, and capitalism sucks”. Gee, thanks Banksy. Very poignant and astute social commentary. What would we ever do without you? Does this guy think that we’re not aware of these things already? His political pieces aren’t insightful or meaningful in any way that distinguishes them from the work of other artists, nor do they bring anything new to the discussions of the subjects they’re portraying. An anarchist throwing flowers instead of a Molotov cocktail? C’mon man. His “Dismaland” exhibit might just be the most douchey and pretentious thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and makes me think that Banksy is the kind of guy who sits around sniffing his own farts while talking down to others and pretending he’s a genius as he sips on a Starbucks latte. The only real difference between Banksy’s work and the crap you’d find at a modern art show is the fact that he goes great lengths to hide his identity.

I’ll concede though, it’s kind of impressive how Banksy has managed to hide his identity for so long while he rakes in millions on his work. For a guy who’s constantly taking a stand against capitalism he sure has no problem reaping its rewards. When you’ve gone so far as to do an opening sequence for an episode of The Simpsonsyour anti-capitalism messages lose any and all credibility, and your commentary on the subject has about the same amount of standing as the white suburban college student extolling the values of communism as they post it to social media on their latest model iPhone from the Wi-Fi at Starbucks. Supporters will defend this by saying that he needs to make money to live like everyone else, and that he sells his work at under market value. Which is cool, until you consider that “under market value” for a Banksy piece is often still in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of his pieces sold a couple of years back for around $23 million. Granted, that one was for charity, but it gives you an idea of just how much people will pay for a Banksy piece. But please Banksy, keep right on preaching about how capitalism is evil when I can literally buy prints of your pieces from fucking Walmart.

It’s not that his work sucks or anything. In fact, some of it actually looks really cool, and I’m a fan of how he plays off of the environment that he’s working in and incorporates real-life fixtures into his pieces. The thing is though, he’s not doing anything unique that elevates him above other street artists who do the same thing. Seriously, what’s so special about a stencil of a little girl watching a heart-shaped balloon fly away from her, or writing “CANCELLED” over “Follow Your Dreams”? Yes, they look nice, but not any nicer than any other street artist that has a modicum of talent. I see guys selling their art on the sidewalks of Philly that look just as good if not better than Banksy’s work. What separates their work from his, other than not being on a wall somewhere in England? He’s just another damn stencil artist, why are we treating his work like he’s Salvador Dali?

Banksy has basically built up a brand for himself and turned his simplistic street stencil art into a money making machine through clever placement and networking. And that’s fine, but we need to stop pretending that he’s some artistic genius with stunning political commentary, and Banksy needs to stop pretending that he’s some anti-establishment folk hero when he’s made millions of dollars from his work. At best, Banksy is just another generic street artist that got lucky and blew up. At worst, he’s a pretentious hipster cunt whose work is being inflated by other pretentious hipster cunts. Either way, we need to stop praising this guy for his generic political commentary and stop treating his art like it has any real depth or meaning.

 

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By Angry_Jerk

The CEO/Editor-in-chief of AJnet, and the current king of internet ranting. Hailing from the fine village of Northeast Philadelphia, AJ has been creating content on the internet for over 15 years. None of it has really been funny or entertaining, but he keeps trying anyway. When he’s not creating new articles for the site, he can be found hitting the weights, watching anime, or playing retro video games.