Jonathon Jones on Banksy

Jonathon Jones, in the Guardian, writes about Banksy and mentions “[T]he qualities that graffiti can offer modern art: its violence and chaos and paranoid mania.”

What a load of bollocks. What a pretentious Establishment fuckwit. Stuck in a binary upperclass/lowerclass dichotomy, much?

It’s our city, our museums, our art. We don’t need to be violent or chaotic, manic or paranoid. We can be sly and playful and subversive. Tagging walls (in either sense) claims them for the public rather than the Public. You might call it outsider art; we couldn’t possibly comment. That label is about the people applying it, not the artists. Oh, and we’re not the underclass either.

I’m rather curious about why Jones thinks graffiti is fundamentally violent, chaotic, paranoid, or manic. It may look that way, but I suspect that’s really just projection from the illegality of it. There’s nothing intrinsically violent about it, and another word for “manic” is “exuberant” or “lively”. If it doesn’t belong in colonnaded galleries and Georgian museums, nor do African textiles or Moorish calligraphy.

So it’s just the same old argument, really. “Not one of us.”


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