Thanks to Terrance (Republic of T)
More at Culture Kitchen.
And at Steve Gilliard's News Blog.
I can't forget Andrés.
Banksy's Necessary Art
I have to give it to the semi-anonymous artist (or artists) known as Banksy; having sneaked paintings into major New York museums last year and dropped 500 doctored versions of celebucipher Paris Hilton's début CD in London record stores this summer, Banksy managed a week ago to place a blow-up doll, dressed like a Guantánamo Bay detainee inside the Big Thunder Mountain ride at Disneyland. The Guantánamo effigy sat undetected for 9o minutes--during which park visitors, including children, certainly saw it--before it was removed. (Banksy has previously spraypainted Guantánamo images on walls in Britain.) Now the artist(s) will is having a three-day show, "Barely Legal," which runs through Sunday in Los Angeles. The New York Times's Ed Wyatt covers the show, focusing more on the mystery of Banksy's identity than on the politically salient aspect of the artist's work, which insistently aims to reveal the hidden, brutal undersides of the triumphantly capitalist, conformist and hypercommodified Anglo-American societies by eluding the pervasive system of surveillance and turning the spectacle against itself. Wyatt does quote Banksy at one point: the artist distills the works' diverse aims into a sentence that bears repeating, especially as political art has itself become yet another object of easy commodification and consumption:
1.7 billion people have no access to clean drinking water. 20 billion people live below the poverty line. Every day hundreds of people are made to feel physically sick by morons at art shows telling them how bad the world is but never actually doing something about it. Anybody want a free glass of wine?