All you need to know about Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry
Introduce the world-famous street artist to the young readers in your life, via this brilliant children’s book
What would you look for in a modern fairy tale? Mystery? Good fortune? Derring-do? These all feel like pretty good guiding principles. And where would we find these qualities today? Perhaps in the lives of the world’s great artists.
Inspired by his own children’s curiosity, the Italian illustrator and kids’ author Fausto Gilberti has created playful biographies of Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama and Jackson Pollock. This year he turns his attention to the world’s most famous, and infamous graffiti artist, Banksy.
Gilberti’s 48-page hardback picture book, Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry, manages to tell the tale of this fantastically successful, yet incredibly secretive British artist, without spoiling any of the fun and intrigue.
“People know me as Banksy, but that’s not my real name,” explains Gilberti’s rendering of Banksy, a stick thin black-and-white figure in a hoodie, “nobody knows who I really am, and that way, I stay out of trouble.”
Of course, Gilberti’s book also lists the ways in which Banksy got himself into a fair amount of trouble, hanging unsolicited works on to gallery walls around the world, dropping fake shark fins into a lake in London, and destroying one of his own works, via a shredder installed in the picture’s frame, while it was up for auction.
The book tells Banksy’s story in simple, easy-to-understand terms, from his beginnings as a street artist – “I paint in the streets, on the walls of buildings, the sides of houses, and underneath bridges,” says the character in the book, “my art is called graffiti. I do it without permission and I’m not sorry" – through to his more notable, ambitious projects, such as Dismaland, his 2015 theme park, and his 2013 New York self-described ‘residency’, during which the artist filled a truck with animatronic stuffed animals, crying, apparently en-route to the slaughter house.
Gilberti’s book pulls at a few biographical threads, including the suggestion that Banksy might be a famous musician, or a group of artists, but steers clear of hammering home any hard truths, preferring instead to keep the mystery alive in the minds of younger readers.
The book includes a more informative, postscript, detailing Banksy’s rise, and explaining how he has changed the way artists’ ideas can be shared.
Any family with an interest in the visual arts will enjoy the way in which Gilberti tells this grown-up artist’s story in a compelling, childlike way. Street art aficionados may learn a thing or two from the book; did you know, for example, that he let loose 200 black rats in an early gallery show? Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry is a great purchase for children with a nascent interest in popular culture, or parents who would like to instill that interest in their offspring. By touching on social, legal and political issues, Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry also spurs on young minds to think about the power of art, once it is let loose outside a gallery wall’s confines.
To find out more and order your copy, take a look at Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry over in our store.