A recent article about the power of a known name to guarantee acceptance in an art exhibition confirmed my dark suspicions. It seems that Banksy, the elusive British graffiti artist and prankster, submitted a work to the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition under the name Bryan S. Gaakman — an anagram of “Banksy anagram.” It was one of over 20,000 works submitted, and was not one of the 827 selected.
OK, that can happen to anyone, but then the story became bizarre. When Banksy was contacted by the selection committee to submit a piece, he sent along a revised version of the rejected work. That work hangs in the exhibition. The revised version changed “Vote to Leave” to “Vote To Love.”
I don’t think this particular work is nearly as trenchant as many of Banksy’s other works, and probably deserved to be rejected. But, come on, folks, crap art is crap art, and a known bankable name doesn’t change that.
Here are some of my favorite Banksy works, which are often ephemeral and comments on society.
Yes, Banksy painted an elephant to carry out this installation, and was castigated for cruelty to animals.