If you haven’t heard of Banksy, you really should learn about this legendary graffiti artist. He entered the scene in the 1990s, taking on some really dark socio-political commentary in his work. Since gaining widespread popularity, his art has become super valuable, which is kind of complicated by the fact that most of Banksy’s work is on public installations. This is why his pieces are regularly resold–normally by straight up extracting the walls his work is on. Causing… even more destruction…
Banksy also gained quite a bit of notoriety because nobody knows who he actually is. He also pulls some fun stunts, like that time he destroyed one of his own paintings as soon as it was auctioned for $1.4 million. Anyway, here are some quotes from the legend himself, Banksy.
25 Anonymous Banksy Quotes
On the Human Condition
“Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.”
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” Granted, this quote was actually first used by Irvin D. Yalom. Many associate with Banksy, though.
“There are four basic human needs; food, sleep, sex, and revenge.”
“Nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent, leave the house before you find something worth staying in for.”
“Become good at cheating and you never need to become good at anything else.”
“Live as a villain, die as a hero.”
On Other People & the World
“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.”
“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.”
“People who get up early in the morning cause war, death, and famine.”
“A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves.”
“A lot of people never use their initiative because no one told them to.”
“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”
“Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world I can’t even finish my second apple pie.”
“Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own.”
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.”
“All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?”
“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
“I’d been painting rats for three years before someone said ‘that’s clever it’s an anagram for art’ and I had to pretend I’d known that all along.”
On Making Statements
“One Original Thought is worth 1000 Meaningless Quotes.”
“If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask. If you want to be honest then you have to live a lie.”
“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint.” We’re not sure how much of a graffiti artist Roosevelt was, though.
“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one.”
“A wall is a very big weapon. It’s one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with.”
“I don’t believe in anything. I’m just here for the violence.”
So you know some Banksy quotes. But what about some Banksy art? Test yourself here.
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