Blowpop Records Banksy
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Blowpop Records by British street artist and activist Banksy is a rare work on record sleeve from the artist’s early career made in 1999. Banksy designed the image for a limited release of the Capoeira Twins’ electronic music record containing the tracks 4X3 and Truth Will Out. Back then in 1999, before Banksy was internationally known, the artist offered to create Capoeira Twins’ record cover and 100 copies were given to the DJs of that period for free in England. Each piece is unique as all of them were hand stencilled by the artist. The very same image was used for the street promotion of the record in the streets of London and Bristol.
Blowpop Records is painted with black acrylic and spray paint. It is composed of a black aerosol stencil image and is executed on a white cardboard record sleeve. The image shows a matador in action, shaking a cape at a 1970s era muscle car with bull horns mounted to its roof. The image is a clever and humorous take on exaggerating two traditional symbols of romanticised “machismo” and masculinity. The tongue-in-cheek, unapologetic tone of this image already carries the early signs of Banksy’s signature humour.
The title Blowpop Records is written in stencil capital letters at the top of the image and refers to Bristolian Blowpop Records music label, the owner of which Banksy is said to have befriended and hence made the cover free of charge. Neither the name of the band and the tracks, nor the artist’s signature are visible on the cover, which gives particular power and emphasis to the illustration.
Why is Blowpop Records so important?
Blowpop Records is an incredibly rare, unique Banksy piece. It encapsulates the ad-hoc, spontaneous and multidisciplinary style of the iconic Street artist, which he has maintained until this day.
This album cover illustrates his support and enthusiasm for music and his commitment to supporting the industry. Especially in his early career, that is to say from 1998 to 2003, Banksy collaborated with numerous English artists in designing their album covers. To name but a few, Banksy created six different covers for hip hop band One Cut in 1998, four different covers for rapper Blak Twang in 2002 and four covers for the Bad Meaning Good music compilations in 2002-2003. Banksy also designed six covers for famous 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. Blowpop Records also symbolises Banksy’s strong Bristol roots and his lasting connection to various places and businesses in the city.
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