Whenever a provocative, up-and-coming “guerrilla” artist transitions from the streets to the gallery world, the backlash is inevitable. So it was no surprise when the haters came slithering out of the woodwork last year when Banksy started selling his pieces for ridiculous gobs of cash to the likes of Brangelina and the rest of the Hollywood set during his stint in LA.
Now, situations like this often warrant justifiable criticism (check my article on Shepard Fairy if you want a good example), but it’s just plain stupid to start disliking an artist, band, etc. just because they’ve gotten popular — and in Banksy’s case, he seems to be doing some of his best work ever now, despite the fact that he’s not just another bloke from Bristol sneaking around in the railyards to stencil witty slogans on train cars anymore.
If he’s going to keep raising the bar with new projects like this jaw-dropping Banksy vs. Bristol Museum show that will be running for FREE all summer in his hometown, I don’t give a shit if Bill Gates joins the Banksy fan club.