Dreams of 2088
The Content Republic

Robbing Banksy

Great Artists Steal

I obviously couldn't let this go.

Banksy has created a recombinant art show by remixing the entire Bristol Art Museum with his own work.

Banksy versus Bristol Museum is, of course, a lovely example what Genius Steals is all about.

It does not mean copying is cool - this is what bad artists do.

However, all culture is, by definition, a comment on everything that came before.

[This is why artists are taught art history]

And all culture is inherently recombinant, at different levels of complexity.

We've covered this all before.

It's fundamental to the post-modern [and pseudo-modern] understanding of signs and meaning construction and that.

Anyway, Banksy gets it and he's consciously messing with idea: the name of the show is referencing the tropes of mashups and soundclashes.

And with the above, he's staking his claim to the idea, stealing it, but because the theft has been referenced, it has a different meaning than simply pretending he wrote it.

Herein lies the difference.

The difference between quoting somone and copying their line is that, with a quote you want the reader to know you are referencing something else, and using that reference for an additive effect.

Copying or cultural appropriation and commentary are divided by transparency, by intention and, ultimately, by the measure of greatness.

You can see more of the show here.

[Thanks to Joyce for sending my way]