There’s been a terrible kerfuffle in Liverpool over the last few months.
As many of you will be aware, Liverpool is the 2008 European Capital of Culture and, at the same time is a bit of a building site.
So we’ve all been tidying up before all the visitors come, shoving the newspapers under the cushions and hiding that dirty cup with the mould in that we’ve been meaning to wash for ages (but to be honest the longer we’ve left it the worse it’s become and maybe we should just throw it away) behind the sofa. We haven’t really been doing that. It’s a clever metaphor for the way the city has been covering up rank old crumbling buildings with lovely orange and purple billboards advertising Capital of Culture.
And that, I’m afraid, is the cause of the terrible kerfuffle to which I referred right at the top of this post.
You see, the Culture Company decided to cover up the derelict White Horse pub on Berry Street in Chinatown (Liverpool has a Chinatown, but no proper Little Italy) with lovely billboards saying how great art is. But the White Horse is already covered with art created by the guerilla artist Banksy. That’s irony, I think. I’m never quite sure what irony is. Anyway, there’s obviously been some sort of cock-up.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I’m glad you asked. It seems to me that Banksy has brought a lot of this on himself.
Here’s some Banksy work. See how it works. He paints pictures ON THE WALL. The wall! I ask you. And he’s a master of metaphor too, just like me (see that bit above about the dirty cup). See it’s like children pledging allegiance to a supermarket carrier bag.* I think what he’s trying to say is that supermarkets are becoming more and more important and having more and more influence on our lives. It’s genius, and I doubt most strongly it’s ever been noted before.
Now Banksy’s work fetches thousands and thousands of pounds. But as he’s an anarchic superhero, I’m 100 per cent confident he gives all his money away.
I think that if Banksy did his painting on canvases, in the conventional ‘bourgeois’ manner, rather than on walls, he’d be able to A) sell them more easily (it’s not like you can buy a wall and take it home with you) and B) move them if ever somebody comes along with big colourful hoardings. Everyone would be happy.
So I propose to set up a small fund – Canvas For Banksy (or CFB for short) – raising money to buy Banksy canvases, just to get him on his feet. Once he’s making proper money, I’m sure he’ll pay us back, maybe by drawing a picture of George W Bush as Ronald McDonald, or Adolf Hitler, or something, on a pretend dollar bill/five pound note. We could then sell them for literally thousands of pounds.
* It’s a bit like a Tesco bag. But it’s no Tesco bag I’ve ever seen, because all the ones I’ve ever seen have the name Tesco at the bottom and the stripes at the top, whereas this is the other way round. Perhaps he’s saying that there’s something topsy-turvy about Tesco and/or the world. See! Layers upon layers! I told you he was brilliant.