Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dear Banksy,

I think you should send me a piece of original art. Here is why: after my recent viewing of your film, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" I have gained an abiding appreciation for your work as well as for the entire street art movement. I love the subversive irony associated with what you do. Additionally, your work encompasses all that I understand about contemporary art: that it is as much process as outcome.

You see, I have long appreciated visual art. One of my most vivid memories is stumbling upon Dali’s “The Last Supper” at the National Gallery where I stood transfixed for several minutes staring up from the middle of a stair case- immobilized by the proximity of myself to great art. I had seen prints, but was unprepared to process and internalize the beauty of the original. Art has moved me similarly since and I have longed to surround myself with it.

Regrettably, I have no real propensity for creating original art work, however, I am satisfied that I know how and what to enjoy: I know what speaks to me. It brought me joy, for instance, to see with what skill you sculpted shapes from paper with an X-acto blade and with what delft movement you could fold and unfold a giant stencil: an artist’s hands in action are as much art as the work itself.

And so, my proposal: please send art. One tiny piece would suffice- a stencil on the back of a 3x5 card, or a rendering of a rat small enough to fit on a postage stamp. Here is why I think you should: I know that you are paid grand commissions by the affluent of the world. I am glad they recognize your talent and sponsor your craft. However, I believe we can both see the irony in this. I read that Christina Aguilera owns an original. Surely, you and she both understand that she represents all you despise. Her work is cheap and will expire with the generation that exalted her. Therein lies the irony and the sting of compromise that all artists must tolerate when faced with patronage.

And so, Master of Irony through Juxtaposition, I would think you could see that I am the ideal consumer for your work. I am only a stay-at-home mother of four who teaches on-line high school English. I have literary aspirations, but never hope to be wealthy enough to collect art. I don’t really long for wealth, but I find it deply aggravating that the only people who can afford art work are often the cheap, celebrity sell-outs who want to possess it only for status and then buy and sell the way they would an estate or an automobile.

If you decide to send me a piece, I promise not to sell or charge admission. I will hang it on my wall, or set it on my mantle piece, or display it in my yard. I will admire the craft of it. To me it will develop and evolve in meaning as my own life evolves. I will consider, daily, the skill with which it has been crafted. Really, what greater commission could any artist hope for? So if you ever want to tag a blank stucco wall in a remote town in Arizona, I have just the one for you. Your work may not be viewed by more than the seasonal visitors or a rogue coyote, but it will mark the residence of an appreciative art connoisseur. Also, I promise not to let the dogs out into the yard while you are working.


P.S. How do you feel about the London Bridge?


Carroll said...

I love this! Very convincing!

laura said...

can i tag your stucco house? i'll copy a bansky piece to the detail. then we can send him a picture.

Marie said...

That's right, Laura! Someday he'll be asking you for your art. Banksy walking dog or antenna flower? Decisions. Decisions.

Miriam said...

I love your post. I feel bad now about deleting my Banksy post. Even if I had gone to jail for missing jury duty on the day of that post, I could have decorated the jail cell and begun my own street art career.

BaNkSy said...

Umm, I think that the spray paint might melt, or the cans might explode in the heat. But I am flattered.