Lately I’ve been fascinated by Banksy, the pseudo-anonymous English graffiti artist who has become quite famous in the graffiti scene over the last few years. I’m no tagger, but I like his style and I like the fact that he tries to remain anonymous. He’s mostly succeeded in doing so, although there are theories about his identity.
There’s something magical about the possibility of walking down the street and suddenly coming upon an original work of art by a famous artist, right there on the wall. You could be the first person to see it. There’s an immediacy to that kind of art that other visual arts don’t have. Usually, visual art is enjoyed and consumed outside the context of its creation. But Banksy’s art doesn’t leave its birthplace. When you look at it, you’re probably standing right where he stood when he made it.
I wonder how this same kind of discovery and immediacy could be brought to music. Maybe I should become an anonymous musician who drops CDs or thumb drives of his work here and there with markings to let people know they should listen to it.
I’ll end with Banksy’s delicious twist on an old Andy Warhol quote. Warhol originally said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Banksy’s take: “In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes.” That one just keeps getting deeper.