Crime Paints

By Matthew Fuller, 10 March 2002
Image: Banksy graffiti

Matt Fuller reviews a new book on Site-Specific art.

A small book packed deep with about a hundred shots of deviant stencilism, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall is where the pictures go after they get painted over. Repopulating the walls of various UK cities with a population of smart chimps, clockwork cops and robo-vermin is Banksy, a master of the stripped down, touchpaper image. A row of tanks is held back by a protestor holding a ‘Golf Sale’ sign. An official looking stencil declares a very public white wall in a posh neighbourhood to be a government ‘designated graffiti zone’, the tags pour in. One or two of the stencils are absolutely location specific – a riot cop pulling a bathplug from a manky pond outside Bristol Town Hall. Other shots are of phrases to quickly caption CCTV cameras. This is a smart call to arms – get a can of paint at the end of them.

Matthew Fuller <matt AT> is part of the development group for textFM, an sm-to-radio server

Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall // Banksy // Weapons of Mass Distraction // 2001 // £4 // further info and ordering details at []