“The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.” -Banksy
There is something in the air. London is preparing for one of the biggest sports ever, but people are under the impression that the Olympics have practically taken over the city with all kinds of special regulations to protect the sponsors rather than to celebrate the athletes. Street art is seen by the Olympics as a problem to be solved, McDonald’s force Olympics bosses to ban all other restaurants from selling chips… unless they’re served with fish and the police was told to empty crisps into plastic bags to avoid advertising rival brands in Olympics. The Brand Police are on the Prowl and of course all of this has provoked London’s notorious street artists. A huge BP London Olympics billboard has already been “vandalized” and Banksy, who hates the advertising people with a passion, has just gotten started (see images above and below). We should expect a lot more spectacular street art in London and it’s questionable whether the police should be engaged in hunting down street artists to protect Coca Cola and McDonald’s instead of doing what the police normally does.
The Atlantic Wire: “In cleaning up London’s graffiti for the Olympics city authorities threaten to squelch the work one of its biggest celebrities, the street artist Banksy, but on Monday the secretive graffiti artist showed he wouldn’t be deterred from creating Olympics-related art while the whole world is watching. The new pieces that appeared on Banksy’s website put police, who’ve threatened to remove any graffiti they find, in the position of having to power-wash valuable artwork.”
BBC News: “Many artists are complaining that artwork is being removed in some areas but not in others. ”
This is going to be an interesting dicussion and some of those big brands might even regret their aggressive behaviour in the long run. It only needs one clever grafitti and a photo on the Internet to make all these advertising people look stupid.