Bad Meaning Good (2002) Banksy
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Between 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 tracks range from electronic and hip hop to jazz, rock, funk and reggae.
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 chosen by 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.
All four covers bear symbols of control or authority, that have been subtly twisted by the artist in order to poke fun at the state. 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, its tyres removed, whilst Bad Meaning Good Volume 4 presents a street camera damaged by crows. Banksy ridicules these familiar signifiers until they are reduced to harmless jokes, turning them from bad to good.
Despite having often stated that he avoids commercial work, Banksy has collaborated with a number of 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. The cover varies slightly from the original Think Tank piece on steel from 2003 but is part of the same series.
Why is Bad Meaning Good important?
The present work is a signed canvas from a series of 4 that was made in 2002 to accompany the series of album covers. Due to its small edition size and connection to the British music scene, this work is highly coveted by collectors.
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