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The Enemy Within - BANKSY interview (2000)

BANKSY INTERVIEW HIP-HOP CONNECTION ISSUE 136 APR 2000BANKSY INTERVIEW HIP-HOP CONNECTION ISSUE 136 APR 2000

2000年初頭にSEVERNSHEDで開かれたBANKSYの展覧会で配られていたという冊子に掲載されたインタヴューを転載。

THE ENEMY WITHIN
Bristol's Banksy bucks the system...
Verbals & Visuals: Boyd Hill

Graf culture often just plods along, writers painting piece after piece of meaningless crap. That said, there's always a subversive waiting in the wings to really tear s**t up. Bristol artist Banksy does things differently, often to devastating effect. HHC went along to ART 2000 at the upmarket Islington Design Centre to talk strategies with the nation's most wanted.
What influenced you to start using stencils?

"About five years ago I saw an image in a newspaper, cut it out as a stencil, then painted it in half a dozen places. Purely from the reaction I got I realised it's all about efficiency these days. A tight image in 30 seconds is the way to go."

What was the idea behind the piece in Poland Street, W1?

"The Poland Street piece was about the fact that artists don't matter. You're made to feel very aware that in this country doctors and entrepreneurs are at the top, then estate agents and plumbers, then the unemployed and slightly below them are your artists. You know, we don't f**king matter.
"A lot of what I do is about taking the control back. The riot image is about throwing colour but in a dark way. It's difficult to describe in words but having a balaclava on and chucking paint around is very similar to wearing a mask and throwing flowers. It's all pest control, but it's pests controlling them, not them controlling the pests."

How do you view the British art scene?

"I'm not part of that scene. I never went to art college and I'm not from a family of artistic people - I never even had the connections to be part of the art world. You've got to be fine about it and not bitter and twisted, but I use it to my advantage and operate on a different level. Like if you put up a stencil, more people will see that as opposed to a painting in a gallery and it costs nothing to see."

What's the public's reaction to your work?

"I try to get as little feedback as possible because that involves talking to people. Everyone has their own interpretation of my work. When I did the clown stencil holding handguns some people hated it and thought it scared their kids, whereas others thought it was the funniest thing out. You have to be careful who you listen to."

How different is painting in London from Bristol?

"Well, it takes ages to get anywhere and the anti-terrorist police are a bit more edgy than in Avon & Somerset. I'd say 70 per cent of the stuff I've done has been cleaned. I paint for about 25 people and if anyone else likes it then cool, but if they don't then 'f**k you'."

You've scored a few 'hits' in clubs. Do you find door security a problem these days?

"I did a couple of hits in Bar Rhumba and this prick comes up to me and says, 'My brother owns this club, what are you doing?' So I said, 'Yeah I spoke to him about it and he was safe,' so the guy just f**ked off and nodded. It's like if you're going to front, I'll front because we can talk all about it. Clubs are good because it's always nice to get past security, no matter who it is."

What was it like painting in New York?

"I've lived in New York on and off for about two years, and last year I was asked to do a series of paintings. I did a picture of a guy sitting on a subway train, then Mickey and Minnie Mouse get on and start mugging the guy and painting graffiti all over the train. It was a comic strip and was put onto the side of the Carlton Arms Hotel as four pieces. Some people got really s**tty about it, especially they found out I was English. These two women who happened to be the wives of lawyers started a campaign to have it taken down. The New York Post ran a story on it but thankfully it stayed."

Your canvas paintings have a very anarchic feel. Is rioting a big passion?

"I've been to a few and I like it when the world's turned on its head. It's something that taking drugs will never give you. I was in London for the Poll Tax riot in 1990 and someone put through the window of a music store and all these saxophones which cost two grand were suddenly free. It's your graffiti writer's dream when you run things and the police are s**t scared. I've got a passion for rioting and it makes good pictures.
"Canvases are for losers really. You're looking to sell to people who are on your level and I don't like the fact that you're selling to people you don't know. I like to think there's a side of me that wants to smash the system, f**k s**t up and drag the city to its knees as it screams my name. And then there's the other, darker side."

Catch Banksy's work on the streets of Bristol, London and New York City

関連リンク
BANKSY EXHIBITION at SEVERNSHED (2000)
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