Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Banksy and Damien Hirst: a 2-in-1 shampoo?

Stencil by Banksy - Picture by Nick Stern

Are Banksy and Damien Hirst a 2-in-1 shampoo?  This weird question has been haunting me for weeks and, to tell you the truth as crazy and pointless as it may be, it still is as I am writing this post.

When did the craziness strike me?  Well, I guess you can thank Dokoupil and the German magazine 032C*.  Weeks ago I read an interview of this artist named Dokoupil.  Asked by the journalist who his favorite artist of the present was, he answered Damien Hirst whom he says that he “also runs a successful sub-label as Banksy.”**

Wait a minute.  What did I just read?  Was this guy serious?  No.  He couldn’t be.

A few questions later, asked whether he was convinced that Hirst is Banksy, he replied “Absolutely.  Someone that I have known for decades and whom I trust one hundred percent, someone who really must know told me that Banksy is Hirst invention.  It would also explain why Banksy has kept his identity a secret until now (…).”***

Obviously, he was.

Probably like many others before me, I have always thought that Banksy never revealed his identity to avoid prosecution.  Indeed, despite the beauty of his art, Banksy remains for the rigid right-minded people a criminal.

So, if not for this article, Dokoupil’s theory would have never crossed my mind.  But the more I reflected on it the more I started to wonder why not after all.  Both Banksy and Hirst are from Bristol, which is a strange geographical coincidence, and both are almost the same age (yes, the same age; 47 and 38 are almost the same age).

Nah.  Those are very meager coincidences.  It doesn’t make sense, does it?

At that point of my divagation, something however was trotting in the back of my sick mind.  This something was nothing less than Banksy’ s movie “Exit through the gift shop”.

In this movie, Mr. Brainwash (undoubtedly Banksy’s creation and maybe Hirst’s too if Dokoupil is right) compares himself to Hirst.

Don’t you find this reference intriguing?

I do to the extent where I am really wondering right now if in the end I am not being brainwashed by the the Banksy-Hirst 2-in-1 shampoo!


* 032C – n°22
** Page 143 and 144
*** Page 144

1 comment:

  1. Hirst is also thanked in closing credits of Exit. Something I noticed immediately and thought odd and not warranted for just having your name mentioned in a film. Still perhaps Hirst just bankrolls "Banksy", but it has always been my firm belief they are one in the same and Exit was sort of a "elephant in the room" itself.