Interestingly, the reason BNE has granted this rare interview appears to be because he is in the middle of a promotional campaign for his work. That’s right, promotional campaign. A graffiti artist who you’re only familiar with because he obnoxiously plasters adhesives all over the mailboxes and utility posts of Tokyo has teamed up with an advertising agency to promote his “brand.”
<blockquote>”This weekend, B.N.E. was not spray-painting surreptitiously, but creating a sanctioned mural on a concrete wall in a temporarily vacant building at 595 11th Avenue, near 44th Street. It is part of an exhibition of his work that opens Thursday, sponsored by Mother, a Manhattan advertising agency.
“B.N.E. has single-handedly created a globally recognized and valued brand in the new social economy,” Mother officials said in a news release. “His presence in Flickr photo galleries and YouTube pages dwarfs that of many multinationals.””</blockquote>
Valued brand? Excuse me? That must be why the mayor of San Francisco issued a warrant for his arrest and put $2,500 on his head. I’m generally one to find viral/guerrilla marketing campaigns innovative and funny (even the ones which create a public nuisance) but this development is ridiculous. Municipalities spend money cleaning up after BNE vandalism, he shouldn’t be able to profit off of it.
I think I’d feel differently if his work was a little bit more innovative. He pastes the same damn sticker (or slight variation) everywhere he goes–that’s it. C’mon, even the Andre the Giant sticker has more quality than that!
Plus, the letters in BNE can be rearranged into my nickname, something all my friends never let me forget.