Banksy: Copyright is for Losers

Flower Chucker

The other day I was walking with a friend in one of the poor neighborhoods, on one of the wall, there was a small Graffiti: In big letters, the following sentence was written in Kurdish “Oh money, you are killing me!”. I told my friend, “That reminds me of Banksy, very simple but provocative!”, he said “Who is Bansky?” and I told him the following story in which I once read in a book by Banksy titled Wall and Piece.

Banksy: Copyright is for Losers

Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favorite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man painted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and disheveled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready.They place their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth to be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its center was an ornate silver bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ‘Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ‘My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled Nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who has ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ‘Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ‘You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ‘there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering the painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool Nature, I’ve made the king and the whole country look like a bit of a twat’.

“I’ve made the king and the whole country look like a bit of a twat”

After the story,  I told him  that “If Picasso was the Artist of the last century, then Bansky is the Artist of this century”, I went on praising Banksy’s work and his cult personality, his works as being a mix of anarchism/ nihilism/ existentialism /anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism, etc, I went on and on talking about the mystery man.

Wall and Piece

So, if once I might take a walk with you and to save the trouble of talking on and on about who Banksy is? Let me post some of his works, quotes and let you get a glimpse of Banksy, then on your own, dig more.

All is from Wall and Piece and Existencilism.

Banksy Phone BoothBansky Globlization Banksy  Consumerism Banksy  HeartBanksy BrinnggBanksy Forgive us our trespassingBanksy  stairs Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy  London Olympic 2012Banksy Girl hugs TVBanksy one nation under CCTVBanksy  looting cartBanksy last graffiti before motorwayBanksy homles LincolnBanksy Mona LisaBanksy girl rain under umbrellabanksy teddy bear riot the wild wild westbanksy death

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About Karzan Kardozi

Just another cinephile writing about Life and nothing more......
This entry was posted in Art and Literature, Culture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Banksy: Copyright is for Losers

  1. Thanks for putting this together, I found it particularly inspiring today. I have admired Banksy’s work for a while now, but this post kind of put him into context in a very concise way for me, an inspiring way. I found your blog by searching anti-capitalistic nihilist. I was just experimenting to see what would come up, and found this. Nice.

  2. Pingback: What if We All Just Started Creating Stuff? « Thestifledartist's Blog

  3. aaron says:

    I personally love streetart and what it represents ‘freedom to the individual’. The world is in turmoil and big events are on the horizon, we as a society are starting to wake up and rebel against the corporate giants and politicians who hold us in their control. i recently started a website to sell streetart t-shirts that promote independence. i used to work for big corporation as an engineer and opened my eyes several years ago to the way society is herded around like sheep. Now that i am trying to operate outside the ‘system’ i am seeing more clearly the roadblocks that are put up to hold us ‘the little people’ down. If you support independence and people stepping outside and questioning the system check our website and see if our collection of designs represent your feelings and thoughts.

  4. Hello Banksy website copyright personnel,
    I just completed my dissertation and defended it on February 11, 2011. The title of my work is The Political Graffiti on the West Bank Wall in Israel and Palestine. I have a book contract with Edwin Mellen Press to publish my dissertation as a full book in 2012 and I am finalizing the details of this book and I need to get permission to use all images that are not my own (35 of the 40 total are images of political graffiti that I took in May 2008). Several of your images I used to get my “proposal” passed (in December 2007) and then in my final draft, that was defended earlier this year.

    I am sure what the “permission”request process is to use images found on your website, but I would like to ask permission to use this image in my book.

    Please respond at your earliest convenience.



    Steven Olberg, Ed.D.
    1133 Corona Street
    Denver, CO 80218 USA
    (612) 232-1556

  5. Simon says:

    Thanks man, i am going to tell my friends when we go for a walk.
    Simon /Sweden

  6. Effy says:

    Banksy comes off as an artist who challenges the notion of intellectual property right yet why does his organization bother with authenticating his work? What is up with forgeries being sold on eBay if Banksy was once himself guilty of copyright infringement? Has he sold out? …

    • That comes down to the Original and the counterfeit copy of the Original in Art, what make the two different, what make one as a work of Art and the other just a mere imitation of the Original is a debate that will go on into eternity, as for Bansky, none of his work is copyrighted, but that does not mean that a counterfeit copy of his work should be valued more than the original, that is not the question of Copyright, but of Value, and unfortunately that is where the price, authenticating and owning the work as a property comes in, as long as man desire to own anything of Value, there will always be Original counterfeit copy of the Original in Art.

  7. Garrett says:

    Fascinating post. I’ve heard of Banksy, but never have known anything about him. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

  8. This is great! I was just talking to my husband about how he doesn’t listen to me…I’m very honest…I feel like a lot of people don’t listen. I listen! I know this had more meaning than that…but that’s what I felt like talking about. Thanks!

  9. reocochran says:

    I thought that this art was valid but am still thinking about it. When an article or post makes you think, then the job is mostly done! Thanks for reading my sometimes lighthearted posts and my somewhat heavier stuff, too.

  10. frizztext says:

    you’ve created a great political art message here!

  11. Lae_M says:

    Thanks for following LaeLand. :)

  12. Very impressive. I’ve always felt somewhat of an attraction to some of the graffiti I have seen in my own city. There are artists running around that we do not know about that have done amazing murals. I had never heard of Banksy. This is most interesting. Hope to see more.

  13. coastalmom says:

    Thank you for teaching me something new. I loved this! I am always a lover of choosing the right pics to go with the words and loved your talent at doing so and loved your sharing of Banksy. The story reminds me of the Emporer who had no clothes. Do you know that fable? Where the Royal Tailor sewed a magical suit of the finest threads… the catch… only very wise people could see the threads…. So the poor Emporer paraded around naked unitl a little boy asked…”Why is the King naked?”
    Loved your post!

  14. The Global Perambulator says:

    Great post!!!

  15. Loved loved loved this post – so well put together! Really enjoyed it, thank you!

  16. cmaddren says:

    Banksy’s work is very cool. Have you seen his film, Exit through the Gift Shop? Here’s the link to it on IMDB:

    Also, Effy’s comment and your response raise some interesting issues about what an “authentic” work of art is. Orson Welles made a great film about this called F for Fake. In it he asks some fascinating questions about what art is and what makes it valuable.

    • I have indeed seen Exit through the Gift Shop, it is a must watch for any Banksy fans. F for Fake does indeed fool many, and I was fooled to the last minute when Wells reveal the trickery of the film. Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage (1992) also an example of originality in cinema, as Resnais’ Je t’aime, je t’aime (1968), Carax’s Holy Motor and Miguel Gomes’s Tabu also, just to name a few that comes to mind.

      • cmaddren says:

        I was just reading about Holy Motors and Tabu on your site. I have not seen either one, but I’ll have to track them down. Thanks for the recommendations.

  17. cricketmuse says:

    Banksy is fascinating. Thanks for putting this together. Is there an active website of his latest endeavors? I’ve seen his video and the idea of guerrilla graffiti art brings into play the whether vandalistic art crosses over the line of acceptance. The fact that so much of his work remains in tact makes one pause.

  18. Graffiti is a true art form. I’m a big fan of Banksy. Great job!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous blog, well done!

  20. Pingback: Kto ma prawo do Banksy`ego i czy można robić na nim biznes

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