See this great text by Valerie Palmer about a recent Banksy exhibition. The elephant was apparently a fitting centerpiece and stole the show from the political ideas we're used to seeing from the British sweet-painting rebel. Bottom line:
The power of his work lies in the way it interacts with its environment and that obviously gets lost when you put it in any kind of gallery setting.I guess my wish came true.
Question: Is there any way for revolution to go mainstream?
My answer: No.
Question: What about Cattelan?
My answer: Come on, that's softball compared to Banksy. Cattelan's subversion is a Viennese Waltz compared to Banksy's creative punk attitude.
Question: So how can a guy like Banksy gain recognition?
My answer: He's got it already.
Question: More recognition?
My answer: What's the point? To "promote his values"? Let's face it: the value of critique is that it criticizes. Once it becomes part of the game, it smells of hypocrisy.
Question: What about subversion? Isn't that an option?
My answer: Possibly.
My answer after having though about it for a minute: But there's something cynical about it, isn't there? While in the case of Banksy, there hasn't been so far.
Question: Well, how is he supposed to make a decent living?
My answer: I don't know - find a sponsor? Hell, if I knew, I would be doing it already.
My alternative answer: Just as the jester's role used to be an intelligent critique, also of the ruler, and he made a living off it, so there might be room for an official jester... In the best of possible worlds, that is.