Art critic Brian Sewell has made my blood boil, which he might think is a compliment, but it really isn’t meant to be.
Here he is in The Guardian today proclaiming his superiority over everyone else’s idiocy: “The two words ‘graffiti’ and ‘art’ should never be put together,” he scoffs. “The public doesn’t know good from bad. For this city (Bristol) to be guided by the opinion of people who don’t know anything about art is lunacy. It doesn’t matter if they (the public) like it. It will result in the proliferation of entirely random decoration, for want of a better word... Any fool who can put paint on sculpture or turn a cardboard box into a sculpture is lauded. Banksy should have been put down at birth. It’s no good as art, drawing or painting. His work has no virtue. It’s merely the sheer scale of his impudence that has given him so much publicity.”
First of all, not all modern art is lauded. Secondly, spray can art is entirely different to conceptual “art”. Real graffiti art, as opposed to gangs who go round plastering their tags all over estates, is highly skilled. It involves vision, perspective, proportion and a good hand. There is bad graffiti art and good graffiti art. Sewell doesn’t like it because of its cultural associations.
Banksy is good art that Sewell doesn’t like. End of story.
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