“Detournement is a game made possible by the capacity of devaluation.” So goes one of the defining texts of the Situationist Internationale movement of the 1960s. Detournement is the artistic act of taking an existing piece of art and changing its intended meaning by devaluing that meaning through irony. Detournement at its absolute best will have the power to at least very temporarily deceive the viewer into thinking they are looking at an actual piece of advertising. Famous examples include a Coca-Cola logo that actually spells out the word “capitalism” and posters which substitute Joe Camel with its parody counterpart Joe Chemo to point up the dangers of smoking. Since deception through familiarity lies at the heart of all powerful examples of detournement, I have chosen as my street artist name: Mountebanksy.The definition of mountebank, according to Webster’s definition being: “a person who deceives others; a trickster, a deceiver, an imposter.” It’s also a nifty play on the name Banksy, of course.
My goals as a street artist is to devalue the impact of advertising images I consider damaging to the body and mind of those who see them. It is as simple as that. Advertising has the power to kill. I would like to use street art to reveal that too-often-overlooked reality.
My message intends to tap into the subconscious awareness of advertising. Most people don’t really pay that much attention to advertising since it is all around them, but it nevertheless has the power to work its way into subconscious. I intend for my street art to give two message: one, that people should really start paying closer attention to advertising than they do and, two, that when they do they will start appreciating just how damaging it can be.
The art of Mountebanksy is going to be everywhere. Since part of my message is that advertising is all around us to the point that we rarely even take notice of it, I intend to create duplications of the same art in large volumes and place them in as many public spaces as possible—especially those already populated by advertising.
My medium will be existing advertising art that has been manipulated with paint, stencils and computer programs and printers to turn the original message on its head. The value will be gained not through size or differentiation from art that surrounds it, but through volume and repetition of familiar images and text that eventually causes people to consciously take notice that something is a bit off and unfamiliar.

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