Banksy at the MOCA, L.A

Several years ago a local police officer came to ask me for some advice. A local pub was displaying a print of Banksy’s image “Christmas?”, depicting a crucified figure weighed down by shopping bags. Some local Christians had expressed their outrage and she wondered what I thought? I’m not sure how much help I was really, since I actually found the picture provocative and thoughtful, rather than offensive. Yesterday somebody drew my attention to this collaborative work created by Banksy and a group of students at the Museum of Contemporary art in L.A. I wonder what you think?  My own initial reactions are below.


  • Set ‘out of context’ like this, the stained glass window looks like more of a magisterial work of art than ever.
  • We are often given the impression that people would rather avoid the church because it does not reflect the harsh realities of the street – yet here is an ecclesiastical image as urban art.
  • Stained glass windows only ever come alive because of the light behind them – has the artist posited a church behind the wall?
  • The figure in its hoodie (or is it a cowl?) is apparently kneeling in prayer – asking for forgiveness for desecration, or offering an act of consecration , I wonder?

After discussions on art and its role earlier this week, it would be great to get your reactions on this particular piece of ‘plumbing’.