Banksy, the fluffy trickster, recently painted a mural on the wall of a school in Bristol.
He did it in response to a letter he got from one of the little students telling him that he had been picked as a name for one of their “houses” (think Griffindor, Ravensclaw, Slitherin, Banksy).
I’m the letter he left with the art he says “if you don’t like it, feel free to add to it; your teachers won’t mind…”.
Now he knows for sure that the Banksy art will attract attention – as it has – and that instantly it will be worth several thousands of dollars – which it no doubt is.
So by suggesting the students interact with the potentially priceless piece, he is teaching them to be subversive.
Head teacher Geoff Mason told the BBC the school had no plans to remove the mural but to cover it with plastic to protect it against the elements and other graffiti artists.
I wish that the head-master was brave enough to leave it uncovered.
If I was the head master, I would love it if one of my students took the bait and actually made an anonymous addition.
It would have to be authentic though. You couldn’t leave it uncovered “hoping” someone would add to it; neither could you actively encourage the addition because that would also defeat the purpose of the Banksy taunt.
In which case, covering it in plastic has to be the right choice because that’s what they decided to do. And Banksy did say you could add to it (in principle a thin plastic film is an addition).
Jeez, I hope some kid works out how to peel the plastic back.
I just had a long conversation with my seven year old daughter about whether she would draw on the Banksy. Her logic went in circles. She would draw on the Banksy, because he said she could. But she wouldn’t if the school said not to. But if the school “told her off” then they should have “told Banksy off”. But he has added value to the school, so is it ok to break the rules when you add value? It’s never ok to break the rules she states; unless you’re Banksy. Wouldn’t you be Banksy when you deface the piece? I ask. Around and around.
He’s a terrible teacher she implores.
I think he’s a fecking genius.