Banksy’s self-destructing painting ūüéą

In 2016, graffiti artist Banksy installed a shredder into one of his canvasses entitled it “Girl With Balloon.”

Just last week, Sotheby’s¬†auction house in London sold the painting to the highest bidder for¬†$1.37 million. The picture subsequently tore to shreds.¬†

“A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting…in case it was ever put up for auction…”


People are wondering whether someone at Sotheby’s was in on the prank or whether it was just careless. Purveyors of modern art do consider frames as part of the artwork, so it’s possible that Sotheby’s never thoroughly examined the painting on purpose.¬†

Either way, the self-destructing painting makes a mockery of the commercialization of art. Banksy quotes Picasso: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”

Given Banksy’s triumph and his legendary status in art world folklore, the only question people are asking now is how much the demolished painting will be worth in the future. Guaranteed the new owner is already there picking up the scraps.¬†

Banksy in Paris




Seemingly coinciding with Paris Fashion Week, a few new yet unconfirmed pieces from Banksy recently materialized in the French capital. We have three murals for you so far, starting with the wall above featuring a girl spray painting a damask-like pattern over a swastika, speaking to the loss of innocence and the fears of rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

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Mezzanine: ‘The album that still sounds like tomorrow’

massive attack mezzanine 20 year anniversary

Music writer¬†Michael A. Gonzales¬†penned a dynamite article celebrating the 20th-anniversary release of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FMF3R76″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Mezzanine[/easyazon_link]¬†from UK band Massive Attack.

Mezzanine¬†is an album best listened to loud, preferably on earphones, to properly hear the layers of weirdness and rhythms, a soulful sound collage that was miles away from the ‚ÄúParklifes‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúChampagne Supernovas‚ÄĚ of their Brit-pop contemporaries Blur and Oasis.

Along with the likes of fellow Bristol-based artists Portishead and Tricky, the band helped usher¬†in an era of trip-hop. The trip-hop genre mashed hip-hop and electronica, adding layers of rock, soul, and dub.¬†Mezzanine was therefore fresh and original, contrary to the DJ sampling on the group’s previous two albums [easyazon_link identifier=”B01L388UBI” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Blue Lines[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B000TEVJYS” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Protection[/easyazon_link].

The trip-hop label was bestowed on the group by the Brit journalist Jonathan Taylor to describe the trippy music that was simultaneously street and psychedelic. Trip-hop was a tag that, like jazz, was often rejected by the practitioners, but it fit perfectly.

Mezzanine¬†contained 4 singles, each matched by a dark and intriguing music video (see below). It’s also worth mentioning that one of the three key band members, Robert Del Naja, is rumored to be street artist¬†Banksy.

To celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, the band decided to release the album in DNA format. 920,000 DNA strands make it the second-largest file ever stored in DNA. This is sure to make it forever timeless.

Banksy returns to New York

banksy new york city, where to find banksy art new york, banksy i love new york

Banksy is back in New York, the first time since his month-long residency back in 2013.

The iconic street artist kicked off his visit with a mural dedicated to the imprisonment of Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Dogan, who’s watercolor painting protests the continued destruction of Kurdish territory by the Turkish military.

banksy new york city. where to find banksy art new york banksy i love new york

The black hash marks represent each of the days since Dogan has been in jail. Turkish authorities incarcerated her last March.

‚ÄúI really feel for her. I‚Äôve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence,‚ÄĚ Banksy told the New York Times.

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# Nusaybin

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Fresh off The Walled Off Hotel project in Bethlehem where he also teamed up with producer Danny Boyl to put together a film called ‚ÄėThe Alternativity‚Äô, it appears that Banksy is making the Big Apple his canvass again.

‚ÄúNew York calls to graffiti writers like a dirty old lighthouse. We all want to prove ourselves here. I chose it for the high foot traffic and the amount of hiding places. Maybe I should be somewhere more relevant, like Beijing or Moscow, but the pizza isn‚Äôt as good.‚Ä̬†

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

Be sure to follow Banksy to keep up with the rat race in New York.

Mural images via the Houston Bowery Wall

Banksy takes his art to Bethlehem

Promotional art by Banksy

Banksy opened up The Walled Off Hotel earlier this year along the wall of the occupied West Bank with the¬†‚Äúwith the worst view in the world.‚ÄĚ More recently, he teamed up with producer Danny Boyl to put together a film called ‘The Alternativity’ which features local children and their families singing Christmas carols ‘Jingle Bells‘ and ‘Silent Night’ in Arabic and English.

The film drops just in time with Trump’s controversial move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, which he also proclaimed Israel’s capital. The intermixing of art and politics is intrinsic to Banksy’s street art, but he’s hoping this event will have a real-life impact:

“There aren‚Äôt many situations where a street artist is much use. Most of my politics is for display purposes only. But in Palestine there‚Äôs a slim chance the art could have something useful to add ‚ÄĒ anything that appeals to young people, specifically young Israelis, can only help.‚ÄĚ



Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.


Digital Graffiti

“Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe then any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.” – Banksy

Of course, Banksy was talking about street ads. But Internet ads are no different.

You should free to comment on ads in any way you wish. I use random emojis and insert the occasional quip on Instagram ads. I also call them out, such as when a marketing services firm used a Leonardo DiCaprio image from Wolf of Wall Street to promote themselves.

Does Instagram even have a creative review process? All it (re: Facebook) wants to do is cut corners to make Wall Street happy.

Instagram is no longer an imaginary world. Instagram is no longer an imaginary world.

All content is advertising. But inserting ads between beautiful images is a paradox. Instagram is exchanging art for commerce, treating its users as dupes.

But creators aren’t stupid. They know that they’re other ad-free places to show off their galleries. The VSCO Grid is one of them.

The wave of the future

The friendliest way to monetize content is subscriptions. YouTube announced an ad-free service this week. The Financial Times is still behind a paywall. Drip is a service that allows fans to subscribe to music catalogs. I can’t wait to pay SoundCloud’s monthly fee for an ad-free experience.

No one wants or likes ads. They ruin experiences. What I love about watching soccer is that there aren’t any commercial breaks. Watching an NFL game, on the other hand, is a sequence of ad, replay, ad, and more ads.

The Internet should be ad-free. Fans have shown that they are willing to pay with their wallets, exchanging money for a cleaner experience. We don’t another 50 years of traditional advertising.

7 articles to read this weekend

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep. ¬†There’s a reason you can’t think when you get little sleep. ¬†Your brain needs sleep in order to drain the¬†uneccessary¬†filler, “like a dishwasher.” ¬†Sorry, Nas. ¬†

I Love You, David Byrne, But You’re Wrong. Contrary to David Byrne’s post on creativity, the definition of art goes beyond traditional practice in painting, music, and writing. ¬†Business and entrepreneurship¬†are also art, in which New York is thriving. ¬†Just ask Banksy who’s using New York streets as canvass to stay relevant and rich! ¬†

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. ¬†Gaiman makes a compelling case for reading more fiction, primarily because it helps us go beyond what we know and see. ¬†So daydream and fantasize, it’s the reason Americans are more creative than the Chinese.

Ray Bradbury on How List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity.  Ray Bradbury used lists to kickstart his creative writing.  He would just pluck something of the list which usually turn into something longer.  I use Evernote to create lists.   

No—You Don‚Äôt Need To Learn To Code. ¬†While I’m fascinated with what coding can do I don’t have any interest in it, the same reason I don’t have passion for going into my car’s engine even though I know how to drive it. ¬†We’re better off focusing on things we’re good at and using the tools the other people build to get us there. ¬†

What’s Scott Adams’ secret to success? ‘Goals are for losers’. ¬†Success creates passion more than passion creates success. So do something that works for you. ¬†”Dilbert” creator Scott Adams also explains why goals are equally misleading.¬†

How to write beautiful visual notes. ¬†Note-taking is the art of illustration. Whenever I don’t understanding something during a meeting or a lecture, I sketch it out and then connect my hand written notes to my drawings. ¬†But I could do better to follow some of these tips from Nico, for instance: ¬† “Start with a frame. ¬†Always” ¬†

What’s Your Canvas?

Everyone has a platform for free, public expression. For Banksy, it’s the streets. For me, it’s my blog.

Before the Internet, none of us had a megaphone. We all had to be signed professionals in order to get a deal for distribution. But that model is broken; my work can be found just as easily as the famous musician, artist, and writer.

The difference between amafessionals and professionals is in the marketing. Sometimes you need the backing of a bank to help spread of mouth. For instance, I can blog and tweet all day but a legitimate writer gets an interview with the New York Times or CNBC and their shit blows up.

We can all make stuff but it’s the quality of the network that separates the bedroom creators versus the signed artists.

In the meantime, use your anonymity, the tech tools, and free Internet distribution to practice. There’s no excuse but to create something, even if you’re never found.

Another Banksy Mural to Go From Wall to Auction

‚ÄúGraffiti art has a hard enough life as it is before you add hedge-fund managers wanting to chop it out and hang it over the fireplace. For the sake of keeping all street art where it belongs, I‚Äôd encourage people not to buy anything by anybody, unless it was created for sale in the first place.‚ÄĚ

So graffiti is just marketing for Banksy’s commercial art?