Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Banksy

Dear Banksy,

Here's what people say about your artwork:
What they have in common is a coy playfulness — a desire to goad viewers into rethinking their surroundings, to acknowledge the absurdities of closely held preconceptions.
Here's what you say:
“Hollywood...is a town where they honor their heroes by writing their names on the pavement to be walked on by fat people and peed on by dogs.”
Here's what people say about you:
Banksy’s sole intent is for his works to be notoriously controversial. He wants his works to affect people emotionally, and force them to challenge social norms. In a world where everyone prefers to keep to themselves and are afraid to speak out against authority, Banksy doesn’t. He uses street art as a medium to channel his thoughts and opinions on heavier social and political subjects, and completes them in heavy populated areas where they can be seen by thousands of people. Some might say Banksy is an outlaw for the people, a sort of 21st century Robin Hood in a way and they wouldn’t be far off. To sum up, Banksy is similar to a political activist, but he uses his subversive art to protest society, rally people, and get them to question the world around them.
Here's what you say:
“I love the way capitalism finds a place—even for its enemies. It’s definitely boom time in the discontent industry. I mean how many cakes does Michael Moore get through?”
Fat jokes are not new.  They're not subversive or thought-provoking.  I don't know if your goal truly is to get people to "question the world around them" or not, because it certainly seems as though you aren't questioning harmful cultural stereotypes and assumptions about fat people.  No, it sounds as if you're buying right into them and, indeed, furthering and promoting them.

While you're making thoughtful, edgy socio-political statements in your artwork, please reconsider the thoughtless, stale, lazy way you talk about fat people.

With love,
Frank Lee

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