Banksy is something of household name these days, which is quite impressive considering he has made a career out of creating work that will only last as long as it takes the council officials to get someone on the scene with some industrial strength cleaner. So Wall and Piece is something of a historical document. Banksy’s first full length book, it brings together a wide range of his work including many recognisable images, as well as some of his more recent creations, such as the guerrilla exhibits he made in four of New York’s most well-established galleries and his work on the West Bank barrier.
Banksy also includes words of wisdom about politics, recapturing public spaces and resisting the invasive forces of advertising. He is playful, astute and wilfully cheeky in his choice of targets. His work is definitely thought-provoking, challenging broad brush dismissals of graffiti as worthless vandalism. It also demands that we think again about what public places should look like and what they should be used for.
Opinions on Banksy tend to be sharply divided. I would suggest that it is worth taking some time to consider what the man has to say, not just his images.