Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art
Fine Art

Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art

Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art

The day Banksy unveiled “ Dismaland ” — a sprawling exhibition of conceptual art that is itself a concept, with mock security guards and mouse-eared employees instructed to frown instead of smile — its ticketing website was so overwhelmed it crashed. Hours before the opening of the park, which is built on a disused resort in Weston-super-Mare, England, hundreds of people had lined up outside in the rain. “Dismaland” is a heartening display of public interest in conceptual art, even if the concept is “What if Disneyland were as bad as real life?” In the days that followed, online media struggled to decide whether the art was worthy of its audience. Banksy had called the project, which includes his work as well as that of others, “a family theme park unsuitable for small children.” Mark Brown, an art correspondent for The Guardian, called it “sometimes hilarious, sometimes eye-opening and occasionally breathtakingly shocking.” Mike Nudelman, the graphics editor at Business Insider, described it as “bad and boring” and likened Banksy to the director Michael Bay. “ Dismaland Is Not Interesting, and Neither Is Banksy ,” declared a […]

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