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Wall and Piece Hardcover – 3 Nov 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Century (3 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844137864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844137862
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 2.2 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Banksy, real name unknown, was born in Bristol. His artworks are often satirical pieces of art on topics such as politics, culture, and ethics.

His street art, which combines graffiti writing with a distinctive stencilling technique, is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects include rats, monkeys, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.

His art has appeared in cities around the world. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti. Banksy's first film, Exit Through The Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie", made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Product Description

Review

"Since spotting my first few Banksies I have been desperately seeking out more. When I do come across them, surreptitiously peeping out of an alley or boldly emblazoned on a wall, I find it hard to contain myself... they make me smile and feel optimistic about the possibilities of shared dreams and common ownership." (Simon Hattenstone, Guardian)

Book Description

'People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access' - Bansky

The collected works of Britain's most famous graffiti artist and the perfect coffee table book for anyone interested in art and modern culture.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pike TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Banksy may be the most well-known (and notorious) graffiti artist in the world, but there is a lot more to him than that. There is a strong case for arguing that he is one of the most important conceptual artists in Britain (although I sure that he would blow a big raspberry at such a pretentious claim and say that a conceptual artist is just someone who can't draw!).
Banksy's art makes some of the most 'happening' members of the Britart establishment look tame and stale and I suspect that in 100 years time, he will overshadow Damien Hirst. But if that sounds too pompous, I should add that this is one of the funniest and refreshing books I've read for a long time. It is a tribute to Banksy's genius that he can make you laugh, but also make a serious point about the society we live in. Banksy argues that it is crazy that we outlaw graffiti, but allow companies and corporations to plaster their messages all over our walls, trains and buses. I don't completely agree with this - an indecipherable graffiti 'tag' is boring and doesn't enhance a public space, whereas Banksy's pictures are witty and thought-provoking. However, it is refreshing to have an artist who genuinely challenges the status quo, rather than relying on cheap gimmicks and shock value whilst selling their art to Charles Saatchi for thousands of pounds.
This is a book that would make a good present for lots of people (my 65-year-old mother-in-law loved it) but buy one for yourself first!
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99 of 102 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book on the strength of a strand on UK television about the artist. What a fabulous book. Although I'm almost of pensionable age and more likely to admire the works of Vermeer I found myself totally in tune with Banksy - and screaming with delight at some of the pieces. He can come and do my gable end any day!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ms. C. Bibby on 25 April 2008
Format: Paperback
I have this book and absoluetly love it, it exaplains why he did it, how he did it and some of his experieces and anecdotes. The book is excellent to be able to see decent street art, but then I came across the person Bansky is inspired by. He is fairly unknown here in the UK but HE is BANKSY'S idol, he is called Blek Le Rat and he too has a book out, he is a 56 year old frenchman who has been doing the things Banksy has been doing for years longer, you can buy his book off amazon. I would say buy Banksy's book to see the British side of street art, but buy Blek Le Rat if you want to see the true inspiration behind Banksy's work.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Monk on 18 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't get me started on this, but...

If there's one thing guaranteed to get under my skin, then it's the way art has been hijacked by a few artists, exhibitors and buyers and transformed into a variant of the idiotic high fashion market, where only the happy few who are up to date with new lines of thought know what on Earth is going on. When Britain's only well-known artistic prize can be won by an empty room with a light bulb going on and off then the proverbial man in the street may feel that art, which surely should be for us all, has become elitist and irrelevant.

And so along comes Banksy, with art for the literal man in the street. Maybe it's that I collect super-hero comics, but I just love the whole secret identity thing. In a culture that is so sated with the idea of celebrity, here's an artist who doesn't want to be recognised so that he can be free to get on with his work. How refreshing is that?

But more, I love the work. Witty, thought provoking and, when at its best, as when pictures are painted on the wall the separates the Palestinians from Israel, they're downright powerful. (And to Banksy's great credit, he includes a brief conversation with an old Palestinian man which argues persuasively against creating art on the wall).

Don't be fooled by the low price, it's a big book with hundreds of pictures. And don't pay attention to the couple of reviewers who complain about the quality of the printing. Honestly, I don't know what they're on about. It's fine.

Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "markboylan" on 14 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is full of great pictures. It makes a great 'coffee table' book and ideal present. Its graffiti but you know what..? Its inspiring. Banksys Art is concise, iconic and ephemeral. If you are interested in refreshing Art I would recommend 'Wall and Piece' and 'The Lost Art' by Christian Furr, both really inspiring art books in different ways by two of my favourite artists of today.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael K on 7 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's great to see banksy's work in a large glossy book like this, but I have to admit to being slightly disappointed when I first got this book. It's not that there's anything wrong with this book, but having already bought Exisencilism, Cut It Out and Banging Your Head Agaist a Brick Wall, I did feel that I'd just been duped. Instead of the new Banksy book I was looking forward to what I had bought was more of a compendium of his previous works. Having said that it still is a very good book, just be warned if you have got his first three books, this does not contain much that you don't already have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm not part of the art circle, I couldn't differentiate between a Turner and Constable, but like most folk I could point out a Picasso or a Lowry (though not an art lover I do love Lowry). As an outsider it often seems amusing to see Banksy either dismissed as a vandal or fawned over because it looks cool to do so. For me Banksy was someone I found vaguely amusing, but it was only when I spent time looking at his work that I saw that it wasn't just humorous wall graffiti - it had something to say and it said it without charging an admission fee.

This book is a great collection of images which depict many of Banksy's works, some are iconic and many are less well known. The humour comes through strong and instead of being sectioned into obvious categories the book consists of 6 sections:

* Monkeys
* Cops
* Rats
* Cows
* Art
* Street furniture

This is a perfect book to thumb through and simply enjoy examples of some of the most creative pieces of art since the Beatles' starting playing sounds backwards. It's also a collection which can be slowly enjoyed, absorbing not just the visual impact but also the messages behind the art. Interspersed throughout the book are small text statements which convey Banksy's political views, he is a staunch anti-capitalist and a vocal advocate of "Brandalism" - his description of adverts as public property and therefore fair game for modification is slick and rings true. Art is often made inaccessible by snobbery but street art is the most democratic form of art there is, it's on public display and open for all to discuss, criticise or adore.

Its easy to see Banksy as a glorified graffiti artist, but his work collected in Wall And Peace shows how varied his art really is.
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