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Banksy on Branding

Written by Sherwin, published on November 7, 2009

Banksy wall grafitti

Christian Lander recently added Banksy to his list of stuff that white people like. Shit. Well there’s no going back now. I’m a white person and I like this guy. Partly I like Banksy because he has insights into the culture of advertising. This is part of what he has to say about branding in his book, Wall and Piece:

Brandalism: Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

This, from a graffiti artist. Interesting. I won’t analyze his work here, but I will present some of it. I like it.

He has some advice on painting with stencils and here’s some of it:

  • The easiest way to become invisible is to wear a day-glo vest and carry a tiny transistor radio playing Heart FM very loudly. If questioned about the legitimacy of your painting simply complain about the hourly rate.
  • When explaining yourself to the Police its worth being as reasonable as possible. Graffiti writers are not real villains. Real villains consider the idea of breaking in someplace, not stealing anything and then leaving behind a painting of your name in four foot high letters the most retarded thing they ever heard of
  • Mindless vandalism can take a bit of thought.

In case you’re wondering, his book does have a copyright notice, but it’s prefaced by this:

Copyright is for losers©™

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