Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You are what an artist looks like

It's official: art is subversive and it's down there in the roots, it's out on the streets. No, I haven't turned into a ghetto love-child, I am, in fact filled with raw enthusiasm for all things independent and creative.

Today's blog is dedicated to Banksy. This amazing guerilla artist is an inspiration to anyone who's been waiting for permission to release their art into the world. Been waiting for the publisher, agent, recording studio or Tate Modern to call? Fuck them. (Yes, I'm rough and ready and I am dirty mouthed this evening. Strap yourselves in). Take a leaf out of Banksy's book - or a spraycan from his backpack, if you will - and put your work out there yourselves.

You know all that stuff I told you to be doing and making and singing and writing? Release it. Release it now. The doing is done and now it is time for your art to be free. Free.


We have never lived in more glorious times for liberating our creative offspring and setting them to wander out in the world, acquiring friends, admirers, and lovers (and STI's if they're not careful - don't ride bareback, kids, even if you trust the horse). What with MySpace, YouTube, Blogger, online journals, online galleries, it doesn't matter what you do, you can free it in a moment for the world to see.

And if you don't have access to the internet - how are you reading this then, aaaaAAAAaahh, caught you out there - you're not out of this game, oh no sirree.

My friend Gareth makes these wonderful tiles with these cool messages painted on them, things like 'Hallo Wonderful' and 'Good morning Starshine' and he takes a few out with him sometimes and leaves them around the city: propped up against cars, on park benches, anywhere. People pick them up and take them home. He's been doing it for years. Heard of book-crossing? Where you leave books in public places for people to take away and read, and then when they've finished they leave the book in a public place for someone to take away and read and then - you get it, right?

Why not leave copies of your short story, or your column, or your articles in cafes? Leave your poems in the library? Stick copies of your sketches into magazines in WH Smith's when no one's looking? Hide your CD demos in the stacks at the library or in Virgin Megastore with a label saying - You got lucky! Take me home and play me!

You're adding value, not damaging stock, it's only barely against the law, I imagine - try and keep it on the down low though, I'd be happy to argue that in court, but you might not be. I've seen copies of Banksy's stencilling images all over the city, there's one round the corner from me right now!

I know I'm wildly enthused, but think how amazing your day would be if you found a poem at the bus stop on your way to work, a sketch under your windscreen wiper as you get into your car. Free art, free the creativity, free your self! You have my personal guarantee, you will feel one thousand percent better for it. And so will someone else. Pay it forward.

Links to inspire you until you agree with me and are dancing naked in your living room (sorry if you're using public access in a library) with the sheer wild abandon and potential of it all:
If you have time, please look at as much of this as you can, I promise you, it's amazing and worth it. If you think you don't like grafitti, you're wrong and this is why. This man went to Palestine and placed images in the security barrier at the West Bank. Tell me this isn't art and I'll get right up in your face and giggle myself senseless. Make sure you have a look at his Manifesto, too. Trust me, it is not what you think.

Check out the clip from the Culture Show
Read the Piranha Pool, yes I mean all the way through.


Anonymous said...

ooooooooooooooo now you have me thinking! What can i leave in the civic!!!!?????????????

D. xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Great writing and plenty to think about on this and all the others. It leaves me to think of inspiration and where and how it comes from, as an artist I am always looking for the spiritual element of the art produced and the meaning of the message it conveys. This reminds me of a passage I have read which I feel applies:

"A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed.

It feels an implusion ...this is the place to go now.

But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons."

In this context is it the case to reach for the sky and see beyond the horizons of our perspective, art materialises from that position.

What do you think?