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bLink 23

What's your guerilla art fantasy?

By Thom Wong 13 Feb 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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Last night, I dreamt I snuck into the Vancouver Art Gallery. I crept up to the fourth flour, the one with the permanent exhibition of Emily Carr paintings, and took down all the paintings and carried them away. I then replaced them with quilts made up of brown and green squares, with the word TREE fastened to the centres. The next morning, no one noticed the difference.

Imagine my joy when I woke up and discovered that my fanciful dream is alive and well in the person of Banksy, a London-based graffiti artist who uses stencils to redesign the city-scape: Blackhawk helicopters fly with pink bows, the Queen sits on another woman's face and soldiers march with the ubiquitous yellow smiley plastered on their heads. His manifesto, an excerpted account of a Holocaust extermination camp, gives you the flavour of Banksy's message.

By far, his most humourous endeavour was to infiltrate New York galleries and display his own art. Such is his talent that the rather bizarre paintings are, at first glance, indistinguishable from other historical works. National Public Radio has an interview and an example of one of the paintings; the BBC has another.

Art of the State has an extensive gallery of his stencil art and guerrila statues. If you only look at one, check out Justice dressed as a dominatrix.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee.

What's he all about? Click here.

For previous 40 bLinks, click here.  [Tyee]

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