Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Banksy vs. The Banality of the New York Times and the Mainstream Press and Modern Life ***UPDATE***
Andy Warhol said that an artist should not worry about what is written in the press, they should just measure it in inches.
BanksyNY's month long residency in New York has highlighted the many strange ways that people react to art. Throughout it all, Banksy has tried to incorporate many layers of meaning in each of his pieces. Still, the main discussion with the masses doesn't seem to get far beyond the monetary value of the art. But maybe its not the people's fault? Maybe, a HUGE part of the problem is the mainstream media. The mainstream media is so out of touch that it is hilarious. And the way that the New York Times has handled Banksy's New York invasion has shown that.
Banksy has steadily been building his buzz all month long. Banksy's art works and art stunts have gained the attention of every major news outlet. Banksy's influence was so dramatic and heavy that for a couple of days in the month, the term 'Banksy' was the most searched Google term in America. Banksy is arguably the most widely recognized artist in the world, and so, as one of his final acts for Better Out Than In, Banksy submitted an editorial to the New York Times.
Now, this is where things get funny. The New York Times refused to publish Banksy's short essay, but the very next day they published a much longer article about Banksy. The article that was published included a banal run down of Banksy's pieces in New York, and how the people have reacted to it. The article completely ignores Banksy's editorial, until one of the final closing paragraphs. The space given to explain why Banksy's editorial was not published took up just about as Banksy's essay would have anyway. But the New York Times said that Banksy's essay "wasn't at all what we were expecting, so it was rejected".
This is the perfect example of how the mainstream news is, (28) days late, a buck short and missing the entire point completely. It was nice of the New York Times to join Banksy's month long celebration--3 days before its over (now that's great reporting!). Then they publish a bland and boring profile article about the artist instead of the incisive and incendiary words that the artist asked to be published--a buck short. Furthermore, the published article completely dismisses Banksy's ideas while trying to catch at the tail of Banksy's energy. This shows how out of touch the mainstream media is. The mainstream media is handed a juicy story, but they refuse to print it. If anyone wonders why mainstream print news is dying, its because of the news organizations themselves. The media has dumbed down the news to the lowest common denominator so that its not worth reading anyway.
Warhol wanted his media to be measured in inches, so to him, this would have been a victory. But Banksy is not Andy Warhol. Banksy is bigger than Warhol, and, once again, the greatest artist of the modern generation (--its worth mentioning that Damien Hirst spent this month body painting Rhianna--that is the type of art the mainstream media is comfortable with, but really who gives a fuck? Did Hirst's art change the world? Banksy's kinda did). Banksy is not Warhol or Hirst. He is better. Banksy actually has ideas in addition to his art, and Banksy's ideas are worth hearing. Hirst can have Rhianna and his dots. Warhol can have his inches of print and his soup cans. Yes, Warhol can keep his inches, but please give us Banksy's wisdom.
Banksy dares speak truth to power. Banksy is anonymous like a super hero. And Banksy is our best hope against the banality of mainstream media and modern life.~
Stay up, Banksy!
***UPDATE -- The New York Times has published another long article on Banksy today. The new article says nothing new, and is loaded with cheap insults and weak comparisons to other artists. The author even has the gall to call Banksy's 'Sirens of the Lambs' his "most political piece", while the author completely failed to mention Banksy's unpublished editorial submitted the New York Times. Seriously, fuck you New York Times. You set the bar so low that you tripped. The NY Post has done a better job covering Banksy this month. You just don't get it, and while you don't get it, the inches of words you print are digging print journalism's own grave.***