As far as his fans are concerned, Banksy can do no wrong. But a new documentary airing on UK's Channel 4 shows the complicated relationship that Bansky has shared with his graffiti counterparts, especially the long-celebrated King Robbo. The two are involved in an ongoing feud that has blossomed into an ideological war.
At the heart of this debate is the long-standing resentment of street art by graffiti writers who feel that street art merely cashes in on the original aesthetics of graffiti while giving up its core principles of anonymity and rebelliousness. While many writers see their illustrious graffiti careers end either in anonymous retirement or a stint in jail, street artists enjoy a streamlined path to the gallery scene. Eager to remain in touch with current trends, galleries the world over have turned to street art, but the youngest generation is accused of abandoning its roots.
The documentary provides an in-depth look at a dichotomy that's frequently oversimplified in order to show how an entire movement has come to mature and reflect on its purpose through a changing visual language. It shows that while the public have come to embrace street art as legitimate movement, there are still issues of politics and tradition that are overlooked in the general discourse.