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I Must Not Copy What I See on Simpsons is a humorous selection of street art by Banksy. The print places a comical, ironic spin on the popular American television program The Simpsons. Anyone familiar with the show’s unique introduction sequence will recognize the allusion immediately. The young rascal Bart Simpson scrawls a different funny phrase every week on a school chalkboard during the show’s opening, and the artist uses this slice of American pop culture brilliantly in this print.
Every detail of this art piece is essentially an exact copy of Bart Simpson’s introduction scene in the television program. This is a delicious irony when juxtaposed with the message written on the chalkboard. The artist has done exactly what he tells the world not to do. Hanging this art piece near a child’s bedroom would be an apt location to capture the humor of this print.
On a deeper level the artist seems to comment on the tendency of pop culture to influence street art. Characters created in television programs take on a life of their own, and the artist seems to be pointing out this tendency to idolize what appears on television. The choice of colors matches the scene from The Simpsons perfectly, suggesting laziness on the part of the artist, which is precisely what Bart Simpson shows in the program’s introduction.