Banksy’s Really Not Ballsy

You may have already read about British artist Banksy’s latest prank.

Call him notorious, call him a legend, but there’s one thing you’ll never call Banksy — and that’s a sell-out.

On October 5 at a Sotheby’s auction, the elusive street artist pulled what might just be the ultimate of his many pranks when he somehow triggered the self-destruction of one of his paintings just after it sold for $1.4 million, tying the artist’s own auction record.

It seems ironic that now, post-shredding, Banksy’s art piece may be worth even more money than it was before the auction hammer went down, thanks to the tremendous viral moment his stunt engendered. But knowing Banksy, that’s all a part of the point he’s trying to make about the way popularity bestows value in an age of commodification.

So it seems this was a clever, meta critique against the commercialization of art.

Well played, Banksy, well-played.

And I’d call you Ballsy instead, except you are actually a hypocrite.

This is the same guy behind the Banksy hotel in Bethlehem, which is anything but brave, different art. He’s also responsible for art on Israel’s security barrier, designed to keep suicide bombers and other terrorists out of Israel. All of this is more of the same ol’ same ol’ antisemitism and Israel hate we see all the time, albeit packaged the way only Banksy knows how. It is convenient, tired and old.

If Banksy was consistent, he’d have had the Banksy hotel turn in to rubble right after the opening ceremony (but before anyone entered), along with a palestinian Arab voice over a loudspeaker taking responsibility for the “attack.”

But he didn’t because he is just another hater. So while he shreds his own paintings, he hardly has a shred of decency.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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