Bad Meaning Good Banksy
Bad Meaning Good is a canvas from 2002. It is from an edition of only 4. The canvas shows a simple stencilled and spray painted image over a block coloured ‘X’ in acrylic paint. The artist’s signature is only visible on the overturn edge of the canvas. Bad Meaning Good also refers to a collection of record album covers created by Banksy in 2002 and 2003.
Banksy created four different album covers for the Bad Meaning Good music compilations. These were compilations of tracks chosen by different artists and recorded on CD or vinyl. The music genres include electronic, hip hop, jazz, rock, funk and reggae tracks. For the cover of Bad Meaning Good Volume 1 from 2002, with tracks selected by Skitz, Banksy painted a large red ‘X’ in the background and stencilled a monochromatic machine gun on top of it. The cover of Bad Meaning Good Volume 2 also from 2002, with tracks from Roots Manuva, shows a grey ‘X’ and a black and white stencilled military vehicle. The cover of Bad Meaning Good Volume 3 from 2003, selected by Peanut Butter Wolf, displays a blue ‘X’ with a stencilled police car, while Bad Meaning Good Volume 4 also released in 2003, with a selection of tracks by Scratch Perverts, shows a red ‘X’ and a CCTV camera and three crows seemingly tampering with it.
Each of the four covers displays an image symbolising control or authority as a central element. However, on each one, Banksy added details to mock those elements. The machine gun presented in Bad Meaning Good Volume 1 is painted with a huge pair of shoes, reminiscent of clown shoes, as if this weapon was a joke or a fake. The military vehicle in Bad Meaning Good Volume 2 is ridiculed and compared to a toy with its bunny ears and bow. The police car depicted in Bad Meaning Good Volume 3 is defunct, it’s tyres removed, whilst Bad Meaning Good Volume 4 presents a street camera damaged by crows. Banksy renders each familiar symbol of control and authority useless. This same idea is reinforced in the title given to Banksy’s collection of works Bad Meaning Good.
Although having often stated to deliberately avoid commercial work, Banksy has collaborated with other artists on their album covers. Among them were six different covers for hip hop band One Cut in 1998, four different covers for rapper Blak Twang in 2002 and six covers for rock band Blur in 2003. The most famous is certainly Think Tank, Blur's seventh studio album released in May 2003, whose cover shows a couple kissing while wearing aqualungs, different from the original Think Tank on steel from 2003 but from the same series of works.