Banksy and Tejaratchi on Advertising & Going Viral

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I was thinking about this weeks’ ‘viral’ exercise, alongside the latest Banksy escapade. By way of background, I have spent a large part of my life trying to protect intellectual property, in one way or another, so this exercise and ideas around appropriation (e.g. Richard Prince) have me thinking.

I have a Behance account, which I rarely use these days. But I recalled seeing a poster some years ago by Karina Nurdicova that caught my attention. Called ‘Coke versus Banksy‘, 2012, Karina took the text from Banksy’s rant against advertising and turned it into a visual social commentary – the header, above.

Banksy first published this short essay ‘On Advertising’ in the book Cut it Out, published in 2004. It was widely shared on Twitter and Tumblr.

What is really interesting is that this was a plagairised version of comments written by Sean Tejaratchi, in 1999, in his guerrilla magazine
Crap Hound #6: Death, Phones & Scissors Tejaratchi tackled Banksy on this.

Banksy did not comment, although on the back cover of Cut it Out, Banksy acknowledges Crap Hound as an influence. Banksy’s tweets did not reference the source.

Digging further, I discovered a lovely comic strip, from Zen Pencils, recently published (2014). This is by Gavin Aung Than, a cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. Gavin slightly altered the ending, but the rest is Banksy. Click and then expand the image.

A most interesting example of appropriation and re-purposing. Except for Banksy’s original publication, each artist has acknowledged the precursor.

I think my main conclusion is that it was the clever and catchy content that started this process. Substance. And then each artist pursued effective dissemination strategies.  I am just wondering how I might use this?


Banksy,  (Gunningham, Robin). 2004. Cut it Out. Weapons Of Mass Disruption.

Tejaratchi, Sean. 1999 (2012 Edition). Crap Hound #6: Death, Phones & Scissors. Self published.

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