in that world.”
Sacha Jenkins, co-author of Piecebook: The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers, says, “I think to a certain extent, writing your name over and over can become boring. And some guys are better than others at doing that. So I appreciate the unpredictable nature of what Banksy does.
“However, money is tight these days, and the guys who used to write their names just for fun and local fame now want to be paid too. Banksy is getting that cheese, and writers want an elephant-size fridge full of it. That is where jealousy, to a certain extent, weighs in.”
Hip-hop historian Bill Adler, co-author of DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, says, “I think Banksy is quite prolific and brilliant. But, much like his film Exit Through the Gift Shop, there is an obnoxiousness to him. He wants to have it both ways, to be an outlaw as well as an art star, and the whole thing is just way too slick.”
In a recent Village Voice interview with Banksy via email, the artist said, “Commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist. We’re not supposed to be embraced in that way.”
Legendary writer Cey Adams, who channeled his talents into becoming a respected graphic designer for Def Jam and Nike, says snidely, “I’m happy the market for his type of art has jumped through the roof. Maybe people will now see the artist value in ‘real’ graffiti art here in America.”