15 August, 2011

Robbo v. Banksy.

A few nights back, I was watching the program Graffiti Wars on Channel Four, a program which I had intended to use as a filler to try to sleep, but ironically kept me fizzing with indignation throughout much of the night. The fact is that, since having watched this television show I now believe myself to be firmly on the side of King Robbo. Not to veer into the intricacies of their feud, I will however say that the two of these rival artists (Robbo and Banksy) have been having somewhat of a petty, one-upmanship fight on the walls of Camden Lock, as well as in and around London...
Until Robbo decided to finally be taken seriously as an artist by showcasing some of his earlier and more recent pieces, in the same studio where, several years earlier, Banksy had also achieved notoriety by doing the same, the war of the graffiti was very much in his [Banksy]'s favour; he was granted permission to graffiti in broad daylight, on public property as his graffiti was considered 'street art' and therefore a public asset, to be lucrative, and cultivated since his following developed, a trendy, hip bunch of people who got off on subversive, anti-political and consumerist humour. I bet his fans all wear berets and listen to trendy bands like...I don't know, The Forlorn Shepherds and laugh loudly at foreign, un-subtitled films in cinemas to show that they get the obscure French humour. In short, everything I hate; trendy, anti-capitalist, quirky backwash, encapsulated in cropped jeans and hip shoes.
To get back to the point rapidly, this is not something Banksy agreed with as, obviously, there was only room in the graffiti world for one anti-capitalist, political anarchist to stick it to the man. Sorry, may-un. So, he tried everything to sabotage Robbo's innocent attempts, culminating in the defacing of one of Robbo's earliest, historical pieces, unreachable by anything save a boat, and so very, extremely very deliberate. Five night preceeding his [successful] showcase, Robbo went out, by boat, as he had all those times before, to remove this graffiti. But he didn't get a chance to. He was found the next morning, with severe head injuries which resulted in him being in a coma for little under a year. Today, I found out that he was released from Intensive Care and ''appears to be making very good progress'', which damn well he should. I know it's highly ironic that I berate Banksy of his climb to fame and fortune when the program on C4 was made, interviewing Robbo himself, several times; but then again, you'll never hope to meet a more humble man than him. Tall, lanky but get so delicate and artistic in the way he defaces public proerpty...I know it sounds ludicrous but he's as close to an artist as you can get in these circumstances, which is probably how some people would describe Banksy, but...not really.
Banksy painted a thrice-life-size portrait of the actress Zoe Kravitz, to promote the new film that she was in. He painted this on an assigned wall in Berlin, coincidentally right alongside an earlier 'painting' done by Banksy; although he was commissioned for the piece, Robbo wasn't technically granted official authority, but he was still able to do the piece in broad daylight. It took him all day, and, working only with spray paint, self-built scaffolding, and an A4 piece of paper upon which was the image he was determined to realise, Robbo created...art. Say what you like about any of his other work, but I challenge any person reading this, be they supporters of the graffiti world or otherwise, to defy me in saying that this is artistic. Does this not give us a preview as to what potential lies ahead? Well, yeah, I think so...

so, to conclude...I think that Robbo is pretty much a bit of a genius. And Banksy? Well...he's overrated. And very arrogant. He sincerly hopes that he gets the 'lack of recognition which he deserves', so that shows you something (said and meant with extremely heavy irony...).

Oh, and one more thing...I showed my brother this program yesterday morning, and also...I've spent the past almost-week educating everyone in my household, be that family, pets, friends etc. about the conflict between the two artists, given them plenty of opportunity to research and even directed them to the various relevant information pages. So, there you go. This blog post is, yes, mainly about me and what I think, but that's what blogs are for. This is excactly why I wanted wone in the first place, to share my opinions and views. Even though this is a new subject, I'm pretty sure it's a very important one. So, yeah. G'night!

1 comment:

  1. Both of them are artists. Banksy just wanted to play a little with the boredom of the city, he made a lot of simple walls interesting and his concepts could be really genius. Robbo wants to advertise. Both of them were just bored, brilliantly bored, I guess.