10 Banksy Quotes from “Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall” Book

Banksy’s first-ever book, “Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall,” published in 2001 by Heavy Weaponry, is a compact and stylish black book that fits easily in your pocket. Upon opening the book, readers are greeted with a collection of art and vandalism, with quotes, statements, letters from the general public and a beginner’s guide to painting with stencils.

The pocket-size book includes some of Banksy’s most insightful and inspiring quotes, with topics ranging from politics and capitalism to art and society. In this editorial, we have selected ten of his most notable quotes from the book mixed with some Banksy murals from the last two decades that will inspire you.



“People are fond of using military terms to describe what they do.
We call it bombing when we go out painting, when of course it’s more
like entertaining the troops in a neutral zone, during peacetime in a
country without an army.”


Banksy delves into the concept of “bombing” in graffiti and how it can often be misinterpreted as a violent or aggressive act. The artist highlights that, in reality, “bombing” refers to a concentrated effort to create art in a specific area. This can be seen as a peaceful act of creative expression rather than vandalism or destruction. Banksy’s words challenge the negative stereotypes often associated with graffiti and encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of this unique art form.

Banksy – Bomb Hugger (Signed) Photo Copyright Graffiti Street

Purchase artwork here



“Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid.
You explore every avenue and possibility of your situationat high speed with total clarity. I’m not interested in looking at things made by people who aren’t paranoid, they’ re not working to their full capacity.”


Banksy provides a detailed explanation of the advantages of having a paranoid attitude. Banksy’s perspective highlights the importance of being alert.

Image Copyright Banksy


Piss Artist

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing.
And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty
you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”


Banksy delves into the humorous side of graffiti art, including the crude and witty messages written on public toilet walls. He sheds light on how these often-overlooked scribbles can provide comic relief in an otherwise stale environment. Banksy’s perspective highlights how humour can be found in the most unlikely of places and how art can be used to bring a smile to people’s faces, even in the most unexpected ways.

Image Copyright Banksy


Graffiti A-Z Map

“Graffiti ultimately wins out over proper art because it becomes part of your city, it’ s a tool;
“I’ll meet you in that pub, you know, the one opposite that wall with a picture of a monkey holding a chainsaw”. I mean, how much more useful can a painting be than that?”


Banksy highlights the practical side of graffiti art!

Image Copyright Banksy


Heavy Weaponry

“A wall is a very big weapon.
It’s one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with.”


Banksy employs humour to convey an important message about the impact of graffiti, which can be used as a weapon, making a statement to the masses. However, he suggests that the real weapon is the wall itself! Banksy’s words may also be interpreted as a commentary on the political climate of our times. Walls are often used as a symbol of exclusion and division. Referring to a wall as a “weapon” can also be a powerful statement about how such structures assert dominance and perpetuate injustice, inequality and control over others.

Image Copyright Banksy


The Rat Race

“Win the Rat Race and you’re still a Rat”


Banksy’s quote suggests that even if you succeed in the competitive world and achieve financial success, you may still be stuck in a cycle of endless competition, striving for more and more wealth without ever finding true fulfilment or happiness. The quote critiques the modern societal emphasis on material success and the belief that it is the key to happiness and fulfilment.

Rat Race. No Stopping. Image Copyright Banksy

Purchase artwork here


Big Brother

“They say Big Brother is watching you.
But maybe Big brother is watching dutch girly videos on the next screen along”


Banksy makes satirical commentary on surveillance and privacy in modern society. The quote suggests that while we are being constantly monitored and watched to make us feel safe, those responsible for the surveillance may not necessarily be using their power for the intended purpose. Banksy’s message highlights the potential misuse of power.

Image Copyright Banksy


I Don’t Think

“A lot of people never use their initiative,
because no-one told them to.”


Banksy’s message is clear: he urges people to take charge of their lives and not rely on others for permission or guidance. He advocates for independent thinking and discourages conforming to societal norms simply because others are doing the same. Banksy believes that people should not be passive followers but active participants in their own lives, making decisions and charting their own course. Banksy encourages individuals to live their lives with purpose and meaning by emphasising the importance of personal autonomy and self-determination.

Banksy vs Bristol Museum Show “Dorothy… I don’t think” Poster

Purchase artwork here



“Doing what you’re told is generally overrated.
In fact it’s been said that more crimes are committed in the name of obedience than disobedience. It’s those who follow any authority blindly who are the real danger.”


Banksy also implies that those who blindly follow authority may contribute to a larger system of oppression or injustice. The quote encourages individuals to question authority and think critically rather than blindly follow the status quo.

Image Copyright Banksy


Take Two

“Someone famous once said: “It takes two people to make a piece of art. One person to make the art and another person to stop them from destroying it.” Which is more poetic than saying: “It takes two people to make a piece of art. One person to make the art and another person to come round later from the council and sand-blast it off.”


No one stopped Banksy from destroying his most famous art piece, “Girl with Balloon”, at Sotheby’s Auction House in 2018. Now titled “Love is in the Bin,” this piece was shredded by a remote-controlled mechanism hidden in the frame just moments after it was sold for £18,582,000 Million.

Image Copyright Banksy

Official Banksy Books

Five official Banksy books have been released to date. Banksy released three pocket-sized paper books titled “Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall” book (2001), “Existstencilism” book (2002) and “Cut It Out book” (2004). Then “Wall and Piece” (2005), which contains a lot of information from the previous books, and his most recent book that went with his Glasgow exhibition of the same name “, Cut And Run” (2023).

Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Title: Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall to do, say, or ask for something repeatedly but to be unable to change a situation: Cambridge Dictionary.

Dimensions:  148 x 105mm

Medium: Collectible paperback book authored by Banksy, 58 pages in B&W.

Pagination: 56pp (Plural pages) & 4ppc (Printed Paper Case)

Published: By Heavy Weaponry in 2001.

Provenance: Artist-plated signature on front cover.

Editions (x2): Two editions. First edition 2001 (inside the front cover copyright details and email address) Second edition (has the quotation and logo inside the front cover).

“Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall” by Banksy. Image copyright EPM

Purchase Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall (Second Edition) here

Image Copyright Banksy



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