Monthly archives: December, 2006

The cost of living

These doctored Banksy images were recently received at artofthestate along with the accompanying text:

prints availabe through

I understand his point of view but the queues at Ikea are bad enough already.


Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato?

BLT (Banksy Locations and Tours) is the new graffiti locations book, painstakingly compiled by Martin Bull. 170 pages, 65 locations and 100 colour photographs. I think Martin must have been a train spotter in a previous life – there’s postcodes and GPS references for every location along with comments about the history of the piece or the things that have happened (hippies and strippers) when his tours have arrived at a site. It’s pretty much Banksy all the way but he does include some other artists such as Eine, Dface and Blek Le Rat. It’s a great little book, kind of reminds me of the little Banksy books (but a lot thicker). Ideal for reading in the smallest room in the house.

There are three walk and look tours included (Hoxton & Shoreditch, Farringdon & Clerkenwell, Waterloo, South Bank and Victoria Embankment). Some of the graffiti has already gone but a walk around any of these areas will always be interesting and you might just stumble on something new as Martin did when he found the Banksy Maid on the side of the White Cube gallery.

You can find out more about the book on

You can also buy it from Ebay:


The Great Banksy rip off….

Over the past few years a fair bit of Banksy work has been lifted from the streets for personal enjoyment or resale via Ebay. I have no idea what Banksy thinks of this but personally I’m not best impressed by this practice. I like to see stuff in situ. Recent examples include the ‘No More Ball Games’ piece in Paddington. This was literally cut out of the wall and carted off. I received several emails on this subject from a distressed local resident whose two small children had become very attached to their rat bouncing a ball. In place of the rat is now a wooden board ( the local resident even suggested putting on a new stencil ‘No Board Games’)! Other examples include all the Think Tank artwork from Deptford, the No Swimming sign from St James’s Park, the Liverpool rats and this crude attempt at extraction of rats from Whitechapel.

It now seems to be getting more organised. I’ve been a little wary of giving out too precise details for locations ever since a certain London Council tried to find out who was behind a spate of stencil graffiti in their area. They emailed artofthestate pretending to be interested in the artist but a quick check on their IP address proved the source to be from environmental services arm of the council! It would now seem that there is a market for original Banksy street art and I guess that these people are using the Banksy location maps and pictures at times published by this site and others to work out what can be lifted from the streets. It’s a no win situation. Graffiti is meant to be seen and the maps etc. help in this respect but are they now making things too easy for the scalpers? By its very nature is graffiti expected to be buffed, destroyed or gone over but soon there won’t be too much to look at if this trend continues….


An Oxford Street Tale

It’s 7.45am and I’m standing in a line of hundreds of people snaking lazily along Oxford Street – all of whom are pissing off the shop owners who really want to open their stores to sell trainers and knocked off Metallica t shirts. The queue is an odd mix of skate sprogs clutching satchels through to middle aged men in sharp tailoring. I don’t quite know where I fit in with those descriptions. I certainly don’t fit in with the guy next to me with his copy of the Daily Mail rolled up neatly under his arm and his banter with his mate (“I need to show someone around a property at 9.30 so they’d better be quick”). An estate agent, the Daily Mail? FFS! Someone tries to push in which means I get to use my favourite line in these situations – “Are you looking for the back of the queue mate? Yeah? It’s that way….”. Saying that, it is generally a well mannered and patient affair. We are, after all, all queuing up to buy a new Banksy print. We get filmed by a news crew, queue porn anyone? It’s like being on a demonstration being watched by police spotters.

Some have travelled hundreds of miles, some even slept out by the door in sleeping bags (no, they were not a Mark Jenkins installation, they really did sleep out on the street). The good news is the print is half the price of recent runs and is of one the best things Banksy has put out recently. All of which makes parting with the expected £100 for a piece of paper with a delicate and finely worked image on it so much easier. The first 25 people with a print walk out clutching two tubes which induces fitting in someone near me as it’s strictly one per customer. A few minutes later and it’s all good – the first 25 customers got an additional Peter Kennard poster as well as their Banksy print for their trouble. I pay my money, pick up my print and leave. It really was as simple as that despite weeks of stories that it would be utter carnage. Well done POW.

This evening I checked on the number of prints that have made it to Ebay already. 25 by 5pm on the same day as it was released. It’s nice to see greed hasn’t gone out of fashion at this time of year, merry f’ing Christmas, one’n’all. At least the ‘scalpers’ initial outlay is going to go to restore sight for many people in Bangladesh. All the proceeds from the print are going to sightsavers, a fantastic charity doing fantastic work where for very little money a persons life can be transformed. There were a 1000 prints at a £100 a time, you do the maths but that’s a stunning donation.


New Banksy Print

In case the previous post was too cryptic a new Banksy print will be released on Monday 18th December at 9.00AM at Santa’s Ghetto (1000 copies, £100, all unsigned). It’s rumoured to be a reworking of the iconic photo of Americans raising the stars and stripes on Iwo Jima (this picture featured at the recent Barely Legal show in L.A). It’s a great image.

1000 is alot to sell so after the first few hundred punters have gone through they may even have some left later in the day.


I’m not saying much about this one….

Spotted in Santa’s ghetto on Thursday:


ghetto fabulous

So it’s on and the location is officially now announced. For anyone who might need a clue where to find this years Santas Ghetto have a look at the picture below. If you want know more visit but here’s the low down on the whole thing:

“The Ghetto is a squat art concept store that opens for the month of December and is now in it’s fifth magical year. It features some of the world’s finest underground artists and attempts to bring an even greater sense of disillusionment to the whole West End shopping experience. It exhibits work that has never been seen before, sells a range of affordabe art and produces some rather dubious novely merchandise”

Featuring: Mark Jenkins, Ericailcane (eric the dog) – some great art in the back right hand corner, Emma Heron, Peter Kennard and Kat, Ben Turnbull, Antony Micallef, Tom Ormond, Banksy, Simon Munnery, Tittifreak, Eine, David Shrigley, Jamie Hewlett, Pete Fowler, Kelsey Brooks, Tinsel Edwards and Space Invader.

I’m sure Insect was in there too….

Hours of business (as advertiesed on a flier last night)

11am – 8pm (Sunday 12-6pm)

Closes 23rd December (forever)

Congratulations to all involved for making this happen against the odds.

Father Christmas is a lie, however, the Ghetto really is on and open.

Need any more help with the location? OK, 15 Oxford Street, London – just follow the shoplifters out of Tottenham Court Road Tube and go into the first shop on your left.

Detail from the Hansel and Gretel canvas – a huge thing covering a back wall. More photos of SG after it’s been open a while.