Journal Entry No.14: Banksy Again!

La obra Game Changer, subastada por casi 17 millones de libras
(“Game Changer” by Bansky)

This little drawing Banksy made in black and white sold for almost 17 millon Pounds Sterling, and Banksy said it would be donated to the British National Health Service. It was sold on Tuesday, 20 MAR 2021, in London for 16,758 million pounds, the equivalent to 23,1 millon US dollars.

Splendid…

So, has this pandemic generated any interesting art? I frankly do not really think that “Game Changer” is interesting at all and it doesn’t say anything about the devastating effects of the pandemic. I don’t see dancing skeletons, like they painted during the plague pandemics of Europe in the Middle Ages. I don’t see any suffering, any death, any illness. I don’t even see any masks or gowns that have become so popular with this pandemic. All I see is a child playing with a doll that happens to be dressed as a nurse. Yes, it is well crafted and technically rather sound, but reference meaning? I find nothing. I don’t know, nor I suspect any of us will ever know who purchased this little drawing for all that money, but they must have had their reasons…

And now I ask of all you artists out there, have you been motivated to create anything that has to do with the COVID pandemic of 2020? I’ve seen some pretty lame stuff on the internet. Most artists are creating pretty little paintings of the virus, looking so otherworldly and quite beautiful, painted greenish or reddish or colours in between that spectrum. Lots of paintings of the heroes of the pandemic, doctors, nurses, health care folk, but not too many focusing on the pain and suffering and ultimately death brought about by this virus…

I guess you have guessed by now that I use this journal to rather vent and even preach a bit. Yes, I do, and that’s what it’s for. It is my way of saying things that I think are important that I would not say in a post or in anything else that I do. It’s like a conversation with myself. I think that as artists, poets, writers, photographers, dramatists, actors, dancers, singers, composers, musicians, architects et al, we’ve a duty to express what we like or dislike of society and of the things brought to our society. We have been trained, we have been educated and we have experience enough to fully be conversant on many other issues than our own careers and we have to speak up for everyone else, regardless of whether anyone listens to us or not. Those who do not want to get involved are really not keeping up with their responsibilities, but it’s ok, the world has become an “I, Me, Mine” experience anyways.

CHEERS!

37 comments

  1. MichaelStephenWills · March 25

    not a fan of Banksy — though he does have a lot of fun, at our expense. Appropriate he is giving back.

    • As you have possibly well noted, I am no fan of Banksy either. And reference him giving back, he well should, and you’ve stated it quite well, so true. Thank you. All the best to you,
      FBC.

  2. Irina Marques · March 25

    People are too formative Francisco. I have seen people taking my work out of a certain context to justify certain positions that I do not share, which is part of my work. It scares me.
    I’m already sincerely thinking about either leaving wordpress or blocking the comment area. Even stop writing.
    We are in periods where you only see what you want and even if there is an explanation, it is not absorbed and is exhausting …
    I liked your post, your outburst and your opinion.
    A very strong hug, friend.

    • Creo que tienes mucha razon Irina, hay mucha gente que no tienen respeto alguno y se creen que tienen derechos que nadie se los ha dado. Yo trato de controlar lo mas posible y si alguien me falta al respeto lo saco y lo bloqueo, pero no voy a dejar de escribir ni de presentar entradas por eso. No se que decirte solo que tu escribes muy bien, trabajas muy bien el arte y seria una pena que lo dejaras de presentar. Bueno, no se que buscaras y encontraras la solucion adecuada. Muchisimas gracias, siempre me agrada mucho leer tus replicas y comentarios y te los agradezco mucho. Un fuerte abrazo de Valencia,
      FBC

      • Irina Marques · March 26

        Fico agradecida por as suas palavras amigas e gentis Francisco. Sim, seguiremos com alguns mecanismos de filtragem. Será melhor.
        Um abraço forte meu caro amigo, espero que te encontres bem.

      • Me alegra mucho saber que seguirás pues se que tienes mucha arte q hacer y muchas palabras por escribir y q vas Las a compartir y además mucho talento. Te deseo un feliz finde y recibe un fuerte abrazo. Paz y alegría, y amor en la tierra,
        F

  3. spwilcen · March 25

    Very well done, sir! Alas, as good as this art may be, and as creative, no denying that, and the hidden social commentaries some may not pick-up on, indeed may not have been intended but I rather think theywere intended. What is lamentable is that the inoffensive picture is what the populace wants. They are not interested in any real truth but the “pretty” truth. The same with the written word. “Abbreviate it, and make it pretty, please, pretty please!”

    Hidden commentary? The lad, one assumes a lad, is playing with a doll. How very non-gender-specific and 20th/21st Century correct. Hooray for the lad! In the basket, Spiderman and Batman are ignored in favor of the modern hero, the nurse. Again, anti gender-stereotypical, the lad obviously in this instance chooses the (seemingly) female hero to the (known) male heroes languishing in the basket. Hooray for the nurse, the lad, and society. Oh, but, wait. There are no male nurses? No male EMTs? (And on and on.)

    One is permitted a rant, Francisco. Every bit as much as those who would take you to task for having an opinion contrary to theirs and of course, then, by extension, contrary to what is proper.

    We may on occasion disagree. I will not fault you for your opinion. Until you feel it necessary to convert me to your opinion with a brick or a baseball bat.

    • A very good description of the painting in many different ways and yes, I think you’re right, one is permitted a rant, why not, we’re just simple human beings. And having an opinion contrary to what is “proper”, well, who’s to really say what that is? And your last line is a doozy! I truly appreciate your reply. I am no fan of Banksy. I think that an artist that needs to hide because he’s committed crimes against society in order to make his art famous all over the world, is not really an artist, but perhaps an activist or a rabble-rouser that uses art as a means to get attention. But I know that he is an artist, trained and accomplished. It’s very easy to place your art quite visible on huge walls for all to see. But not caring who owns the property, not caring for the rights of others, that I cannot tolerate. Take good care my friend and all the best to you.
      FBC.

  4. Easymalc · March 25

    You would have no doubt been expecting a reply from me as you know that I am a fan of Banksy. I’m not a fan of all his stuff of course, but to me this is Banksy at his best. He deliberately made this picture to secretly hang on the wall of Southampton General Hospital knowing full well that it would create interest. The picture to me symbolises what the artist is thinking. I’m sure he’s paying his respects to our magnificent National Health Service and all those that work in it. His basket full of toys are fictional heroes, but the real hero is the nurse looking after the Covid patients.

    When the painting appeared it lifted the morale of the staff no end, and he always intended selling it to raise money for the NHS. It’s his way of saying thanks. The fact that it sold for so much money is testament not only to the artist’s honourable intentions, but hopefully the buyer saw it the same way as well. Sometimes people pay an inflated price for something if they know it’s going to a good cause.

    He intends, if he hasn’t already done so, to replace it with a copy that the staff of Southampton General can keep for as long as they wish.

    • I knew it Malc and I do appreciate it, greatly. And the way you’ve expressed it ensures that the post will have a magnificent reply from a true writer and admirer of the artist. I also applaud any effort made by any artist to assist, enable or support something as necessary and valuable as your wonderful NHS. I wish the millionaire artists here in Spain would do the same. Thank you 😊 very much my friend and greetings from the Mediterranean.
      Cheers!

      • Easymalc · March 25

        Thanks for reading my point of view Francesc. You’re a much better artist than Banksy in the true sense of the word, but he makes art to make statements, and I think the world needs people who can make us think outside the box at the moment.

      • The world certainly does need people that make statements and not everybody does or have the courage to do so. Thank you Malc. Take good care and enjoy the middle of the week!
        All the best to you,
        FBC.

      • Easymalc · March 25

        You too F 🙂

      • It’s middle of the week wine time in València my friend,
        Cheers!
        FBC.

      • Easymalc · March 25

        🙂

  5. Brad Osborne · March 25

    I agree with you on many points. The art is the typical style we expect from Banksy. Although solid in technique and detail, it does not speak volumes. It lacks any sense of deep expression, and on that I also agree. It is incumbent on all artists to express what they see in and of the world around them. It is within art that we are forced to see all things in life, even the ugly, the unpleasant, and the unwanted, devoid of the blinders we wear from position or privilege. So you go ahead and rant, my friend!

  6. equipsblog · March 26

    I like what you have to say and this is a question, not a challenge. You are an artist, writer, and composer. I may be guilty of overlooking what you have already done but have you created anything to commemorate the pandemic? I have read many of your blog posts about the lockdown in Spain and find those very educational. Write on!

  7. macalder02 · March 27

    Entender el arte de pintura resulta muy engorroso. Uno, como simple observador, puede sacra conclusiones erróneas pero en realidad no me cabe las pinturas de Banksy. Si hay que reconocer que es un pintor muy generosos con las causa justas. El hecho de donar el valor de esa pintura que sobrepasa los 16 millones, así lo demuestra.
    Saludos Francisco. Un feliz fin de semana.

    • Saludos Manuel y feliz finde igualmente. Lo has dicho muy bien y muy de acuerdo que estoy contigo, a mi el arte de Banksy me resulta muy simplon y con poco contenido. El utiliza al mundo, como el dice, como lienzo, pero que casualidad que siempre utiliza lugares muy bien situados para ser vistos y que luego coticen sus obras con grandes sumas. Porque no se va a las dehesas castellanas en el medio de la meseta y pinta algo? Eso nunca porque solo lo veran los cerdos mientras se alimentan con bellotas…muy listo que es el tio, no?
      Un abrazo,
      FBC.

      • macalder02 · March 27

        Eso es hacer arte para llenarse los bolsillos. Bueno, hay de todo en la “Villa del Señor”.
        Un abrazo

      • Definitivamente, amigo mio,
        un abrazo,
        FBC.

  8. azurea20 · March 27

    Quién no conoce o ha oído hablar de Banksy, yo soy de las que he oído hablar, conozco poco su obra y bueno, ahí está. No me emociona demasiado. Salud.

    • Ni a mi tampoco, y ese dibujo no me dice nada en absoluto de la pandemia ni de los sanitarios ni ocho cuartos…gracias Azurea y un abrazo,
      FBC

  9. Anna Waldherr · March 28

    You are entitled to vent, Francisco. 🙂 I do that, too. And I agree that this piece was likely acclaimed by reason of sentiment more so than technical merit. I am not sure, however, that matters. It is the nature of art that the artist and viewer interact. I see in your paintings not only the part of yourself you intentionally infuse in them, but the part of myself I bring — my experience, my happiness, my sorrows. Different audiences see the work in different contexts. The pandemic has fully occupied us for the past year. Hardly surprising that it would influence the way we view art.

    • Yes, you are so right. I think you have explained the idea of the art of the pandemic in a most gracious and exact manner. Thank you very much Anna,
      FBC

  10. sakshisoni · March 29

    I so agree to you! Very nicely penned!😄✨

  11. morishige · March 29

    Great post, Francisco!

    Some of the world artists might have already expressed themselves regarding this pandemic. But I believe more of them are still processing the meaning of it all, since the end of this dark tunnel has not yet been spotted.

    • You are right, still too early and we are still in the game. Reviews, commentaries and critiques to come…

  12. Vera Rima · May 31

    Many great points made here. Setting aside the fact that I like Banky’s work and that art including his art can be many different things of course, we do seem to be living in rather conservative times and much art and writing out there reflects that. I agree I would like to see more art that challenges and critiques culture, has something to say, endeavors to wake ppl up. I don’t shy away from difficult topics in my own work, particularly my writing, and I’ve seen how ppl raise an eyebrow at me, which is fine. I just do what I feel called to do and it’s not always pretty and that’s okay. Thanks for this post as it is rare and refreshing to see such candor.

    • Thank you very much Vera for your visit and for your words. I do very much agree with you, what I do not like is to see art commercialised in a matter where the “work” is no longer art but a whim or nonsense. Art, in my opinion, naturally, is the result of talent and talent is the result of work, effort, research, practise and investigation. To stencil a simple little drawing on a wall, again in my opinion, does not take much talent. Critiquing culture is valid in its own right, as it would be to criticise government, but that is not the sole purpose of art, nor should it be because then it would be propaganda. Although I agree that I think people need to be woken up, I don’t necessarily ascribe that job to art or artists, although I see nothing wrong in doing so as long as it does not belong the primary or single objective of the artist. Thank you so much for your reply, it has made me think and that is a most refreshing moment in my day. Cheers

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