Banksy vs. the Olympics
For some, the Olympics represent the apex of athletic competition and sportsmanship while uniting the world. For others, it represents the zenith of Draconian corporate sponsorship, and irresponsible financial and nationalist excess. Diving into the middle of this debate is Banksy, arguably the cynosure of street artists, who has popped up with his own particular opinion on the upcoming Olympics. His latest two pieces of work, stencils in his familiar style, serve to remind the world that outside the glossy bubble of the London Olympics this summer there are real impact issues — including the legal, ethical and moral dilemmas of using military drones — that matter a great deal more than whether someone will be able to shave .0001 second off their swim lap or sprint. Ironically, the reaction to this work by the London authorities, who are threatening to scrub away these pieces, only serves to underscore the very critique that Banksy seems to be making.
Banksy is of course not without other detractors. Some come from a place of pure haterade, while others stem from the seeming ease, as ridiculous as that might sound, of his pieces, which are easily grasped by anyone. To apply Occam’s razor here, however: His particular greatness emerges from his very succinctness.
If you’re a fanboy, check out some of his other past work:
- An exhibit in Bristol, England of his works.
- A couple in Chinatown cleans and saves a vandalized Banksy stencil.
- Banksy inspires another street artist who has a particular love of puns and spoofing some of Banksy’s more iconic pieces.
- Banksy created an opening-credit scene for an episode of The Simpsons.
Photo credit: Banksy.co.uk