Everyone’s talking about Banksy yet again, after the celebrated graffitist’s clever rendition of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” on the side of a building.
If you’re struggling to understand what Banksy is about, consider this image of his 2010 work on the side of a building in San Francisco’s Mission District:
Arguably one of his most important works, “This’ll look nice when framed” ironically points to Banksy’s philosophy that art can exist outside of traditional venues like museums, galleries, or displays in people’s homes. It can be found anywhere in our busy world. In the photograph above, two people are relaxing on the roof beside Banky’s stencil. As far as we can tell, they just happened to end up next to this work of art, rather than going out of their way to view art in a formal setting.
The stencil’s punchline is that it’s not for sale. It will never look nice in a frame because it cannot be framed.
In further irony, however, even this stencil has been manufactured into prints that people have put up for sale.
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