02 Nov

Banksy’s Wall & Piece

So, Ektopia gets its very first scoop…a copy of Banksy’s Wall & Piece the day before general release! We at Ektopic Towers celebrated by partying hard when we found the book on the doorstep this morning. I say we…I meant that I got excited and woke Emma to tell her the news before getting dressed and going to work with the book in my bag! Anyways, great news for Ektopia, I ain’t knocking it!

I won’t bother introducing Banksy to you, I’m sure you already know about his work and if you follow Ektopia you’ll have seen a ton of posts about him already! All I’ll say is that he’s almost become a household name in the UK…I think me gran has even heard of him! Banksy thinks that people either him or hate him, or just don’t care. I say that they either love him, hate him or don’t know about him because everyone who knows about hims seems to have an opinion. Graffiti artist, street artist, art terrorist, guerrilla artist, call him what you like, Banksy is here to stay and if he carries on mutating like he has done lately he’ll probably be with us for a long time.

Wall & Piece, published by Century, is the first proper hardback book dedicated to Banksy’s art. I immediately examined the book’s artwork. A simple rendition of one of Banksy’s famous pieces showing a hooligan throwing some flowers in the style of a fire bomb. Turn it over and there’s a lovely quote from a Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, “There’s no way you’re going to get a quote from us to use on the back cover.” And there you have it, typical Banksy cheekiness!

The first thing to mention about it is that much of the content within Wall & Piece is actually taken from Banksy’s self published mini books, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall, Existencilism and Cut It Out. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not duplicated in their entirety, neither is Wall & Piece made up only from the content of these books, it’s just that they feature heavily within. These are all great books but ion my opinion if you can’t see the pieces in person then Wall & Piece is the next best thing. Besides, these mini books are becoming increasingly hard to find.

Back to the book in question. The book has been laid out in six chapters - Monkeys, Cops, Rats, Cows, Art and Street Furniture. There are many Banksy styles represented here including proper graffiti, stencilling, painting, sculpture etc. and they all seems to have been throughly presented. Quite a lot of the art in the book is from quite a while back but there’s also many pieces from recent times, and even right up to date, with his vandalised oil paintings (from last month’s show) and Palestinian wall pieces (from a few months back). These are particularly impressive after only seeing TV spots and tiny photos on the internet. The selection of street sculptures is also great. I hadn’t seem any of the work Banksy had done with traffic cones, very inventive. However, Banksy’s Justice was omitted for some reason, which is a shame. It looks like it would have fit perfectly among the Street Furniture section but I’m sure there must have been a reason for it not being there. There’s all your Banksy favourites present, nice and large and full of colour, from his Happy Chopper piece in Shorditch to many of his “this is not a photo opportunity” pieces to this year’s coke snorting copper! I never really thought of Banksy as a proper painter but his paintings are also great. Apart from his modified oil paintings there are a few different styled ones. Take the wonderfully painted clown being dragged away by his arms and legs by the riot squad…”You told that joke twice.” Full of movement and atmosphere.

Many of the images are accompanied with stories and little words of Banksy wisdom like, “You can win the rat race but you’re still a rat.” These will be interesting, funny and thought provoking for most people that get hold of this book but if you’re a Banksy hater you’ll find them pointless and pretentious…I guess if this were the case you would have stopped reading this by now though! I should also mention the quality of the photography. There’s always something going on in these photos, they’re never sterile copies of the art but are living documents to what the pieces have become. They show the effects that the pieces have on their environment and the public and this is one of the reasons that this is such a great collection. Bang up to date, gritty and honest.

I guess you know by now which group of Banksy people I’m in. I like the guy’s work. Most of it just makes me smile or laugh. Lots of it’s thought provoking as well. I like his political intensity too. It’s often subtle, not too overbearing and is there if you want it and fades to the background if you don’t. I’ll leave you with a few more of Banksy’s wise words of advice, “Think outside of the box, collapse the box and take a fucking sharp knife to it.” Articulately said Banksy! Wall & Piece is 21.5cm x 26.5cm, is hardback and weighs in at 207 pages. Get your copy direct from Century or from the usual places like Amazon UK and Amazon US.


5 Responses to “Banksy’s Wall & Piece”

  1. 1
    suela Says:


  2. 2
    wana be a pro Says:

    the new book is amazing, i never reliset how big a scale bankskey is. his work is amence. you can now see the world as somthining youve done.

  3. 3
    moley Says:

    i got the book the other day it is soooo good the best thing is the street with the cones going into the ground near the back of the book

  4. 4
    Helene Kara Says:

    We’re American Retro , a shop in soho London and we’ve been selling Wall and Piece previously and we’d like more copies but we can’t remember the name of the distributor! Can you help?

  5. 5
    Reevo Says:

    Helene, contact Century, they’ll be able to help you I’m sure.

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