Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall
This is also a political choice; by celebrating the hinterland and indeed the degraded, disenfranchised figure at the heart of the composition of the present work, Banksy is using his platform to drag focus away from traditional art world contexts. Always a self-confessed outsider, so much of Banksy’s art exists to poke fun at traditional hierarchies and, in light of his astonishing success, also at himself. If everyone is fair game for mockery in Banksy’s world then no one is more so than he himself and in that sense the figure on the bench can be seen as a self-portrait, revealing his own sense of ordinariness and feeding into the theme of being an imposter that features so often in his work.
Weston Super Mare can therefore be seen as a work of searing honesty and self-revelation; a very personal painting that gives a clear, if very rare, insight into the artist’s background and personality. Weston Super Mare, in Somerset, is where Banksy created Dismaland, a “family theme park unsuitable for children”. The artist presented new works and funded the construction of the exhibition himself. The show featured 58 artists known for making art with strong social and political commentary, including Damien Hirst.