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Banksy’s Cut and Run exhibition

Clair and I, along with our pal Fiona, just went to see Banksy’s Cut and run exhibition at the GOMA in Glasgow. I loved it!

Banksy describes it as follows:

I’ve kept these stencils hidden away for years, mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage. But that moment seems to have passed, so now I’m exhibiting them in a gallery as works of art. I’m not sure which is the greater crime.

He mentions that one of the main reasons he chose Glasgow’s GOMA is because the ever-present cone on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside is his favourite work of art in the UK.

…the statue out the front has had a cone on its head continuously for the past 40 odd years. Despite the best efforts of the council and the police, every time one is removed another takes its place."

I really enjoyed the way the exhibition was arranged and presented with the various use of corridors, rooms, concourses and other objects such as elevators and phone booths.

I liked Banky self-effacing introduction saying that really he was cheating and gets (steals) all his inspiration from others, or real artists.

I loved where he talked about the light-switch moment about not needing to add a background but rather to make the real-life location the background, and how that then fires the imagination with the challenge “How much of the environment can you integrate into the piece?”. How much space could there be between the girl and the balloon?

Lastly, the final area is a treat. It simulates Banksy’s bedroom growing up and the music, art and films which influenced him. There’s a great description of how the graffitied sign in Jaws – where a sign presenting Amity Island as a paradise is doctored with a shark fin and “Help!” speech bubble – was an early example of art that really spoke to him. In this graffiti he saw a wonderful combination of satire, powerless people finding a way to make their voice heard, humour, art and rebellion.

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