A quick round up this morning of not a lot….
Banksy in Croydon, photo: artofthestate
Croydon’s very own Banksy piece has finally turned up on Ebay for a starting price of £25,000. ‘Large Graffiti Slogan’ or the ‘Ikea Punk’ as it is sometimes known was cut out of a wall in a nondescript trading estate in a suburb that had been little troubled by Banksy in the past. At the time it was in a very sorry state, covered in tags and was then subject to some very heavy renovation. It emerged looking amazingly fresh and almost too clean. According to an interview with the BBC Nick Loizou, and Bradley Ridge claimed that they removed the three ton wall for ‘the right reasons’. Presumably the ‘right reasons’ included flogging something on Ebay that was left on the street for anyone to enjoy (or wreck). Based on past cases this piece will never get authentication from Pest Control. Buyer beware.
Also appearing in Camden in the past couple of days were new works by Robbo in the spots where his long running feud with Banksy has been going on. It’s not exactly an accident that this has happened in the same week that Robbo has a show of works opening at Pure Evil’s street art (!) gallery in Shoreditch. Considering how many times Banksy has been accused of using hype there is, according to some posters on forums, a distinct whiff of the dog calling the cat ‘hairy arse’ in the timing of these pieces. All very strange and bearing in mind the mixing of graffiti writers and street art enthusiasts it may be advisable to take a tin hat to the opening night if you’re going.
Still not found the recent Keep Britain Tidy, No Future and I Love You pieces….
New in from Above in Paris – a very specific piece of work utilising a Banksy image to explain a point (watch the video here). I’ll let Above explain in his own words:
“Last year I was traveling for 3-months around Europe and spent 2 weeks in Paris. One day when I was walking around Paris I found this spot but unfortunately I had just 1 day before my flight to Rome. After observing the large concrete frame on the wall, it gave me a lot of inspiration for several ideas on how to creatively interact with the un-used frame and location. One idea was to juxtapose an “art thief” stealing a popular painting like the Mona Lisa from the frame. I felt the idea and site-specific stencil would interact well with the un-used frame and the fact that the Mona Lisa is located just 10 minutes away inside the Louvre museum.
Time always changes things and with that new situations arise. Since last year when I was in Paris I’ve noticed a lot of new topics in street art and more importantly the thievery of art works in the street. I felt it more interesting and relative to have the art thief portrayed in the stencil stealing a piece of art that actually gets stolen quite often. The English artist Banksy is one of the most popular street artists and highly publicized victims of his street artworks being stolen. It’s not by random chance this happens to Banksy’s art as first and foremost he makes great work but also due to the fact that his indoor works have sold for several hundred thousand dollars you can imagine when he paints outside in the street his works are soon sought after by thieves.
It’s an interesting concept and somewhat of an irony as we the artists and the thieves are both working in an illegal manner. One illegal activity inspires another. The artist paints illegally with spray cans on a wall, while the thieves jack hammer and chip off illegally painted walls, illegally. It’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black to a degree.
I took the initiative to comment and create a situation in this piece that could mimic both illegal acts simultaneously executed here in the painting and in the process.
Many years ago before Banksy’s mass appeal he painted his popular rat image that read, “Because I’m worthless.” Times have changed Banksy is a common household name as well as the increased value of his artworks. I felt like it would be applicable to the current state of affairs to appropriate his previous statement to “Because now I’m worth it” to reflect the past and current thievery of his street artworks”.
Watch the ‘Because Now I’m Worth It‘ video on Vimeo
Banksy ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ source: Wooster
Banksy ‘No Future’ and ‘I Love You’ source: Wooster
This week HMV in London’s Oxford Street is proudly displaying two original Banksy works to coincide with the release of Exit Through The Gift Shop on DVD. According to Press Association reports (and some of the store staff themselves) HMV were just expecting some run of the mill promotional displays but ended up with a very decent duo of excellent pieces, one in the window and one in the aisles.
It’s not the first time Banksy has appeared around this area of Oxford Street. Back in 2008 one of his largest pieces was painted a short walk away in Newman Street. It’s also not the first time there’s been a connection with HMV either. Going right back around 10 years HMV’s famous dog Nipper turned up in his Cargo show in London and when he re-engineered a good proportion of Paris Hilton’s UK albums they were placed into HMV racks across the country in probably the largest instance of organised reverse shoplifting ever. What’s different this time is that there would have been full permission to place a display in the window and the aisle; to be honest I’d be quite surprised if you didn’t have to pay to get a spot like that. Is that selling out? I’m sure Banksy knows full well that’s an accusation that will be levelled at him and it certainly has been in this instance. These two pieces of art are obviously there to advertise a product, no question about that. Whether this matters anymore is up for debate but its hardly a new debate. Most street art in London now seems to be advertising something – a print or maybe a show.
Poignant, thoughtful and well executed Banksy works like these are something of a luxury to look at nowadays in London with pretty much everything on the street getting attacked within a few days of placement. It might have made more sense and garnered more positive publicity if they had been put in say Rough Trade or on the street but here they are in HMV, on Oxford Street with an attendant security guard. How things have changed.
Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate
Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate
Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate
The special edition of the Banksy Film Exit Through The Gift Shop DVD dropped through the post today and so it was chucked straight into the DVD player to have a look at the extra features. There’s a 15 minute Banksy ‘B’ Movie which contains an interview repeated ad verbatim in The Sun at the weekend (they even had the cheek to claim it was an exclusive)! We get to see some of Guetta’s original film ‘Life Remote Control’ – the first few minutes of which are a truly terrifying dive into appalling editing but then switch to some half (and I mean only half) decent interviews. Even more scary is his ‘creative process’ for his piece for the Cans Festival – no commentary is made but its a real eye opener. Rounding things off are a few bits of footage that didn’t make the cut maybe because they have similarities to scenes already in the film but are still well worth seeing.
Included in the special edition are a pair of 2d(!) glasses (check the instructions on the inside of the frames), a few stickers and a neat postcard. All in all a very neat package and available at the moment for £10.93 on Amazon and at around a similar price in Asda. If you’re in London (150 Oxford Street) or Bristol their HMV stores have what looks like some original Banksy art work as part of their displays for the release.
Banksy.co.uk has a whole new page of updates – including two new videos, fresh work in the UK and a full length rendition of my favourite painting at the Banksy Versus Bristol Museum exhibition last year. While the Dolphin ride video is very obviously in Brighton and Prince Charles has been caught by a dope seller at Glastonbury one of the pieces featuring a bear and a fish is in an as yet unidentified location and may actually be am older piece – there seems to be water level marks on top of the paint.
Banksy Bear – source Banksy.co.uk
Banksy – Reconditioned dolphin ride with crude oil and tuna net – source Banksy.co.uk
Banksy in Dungeness – source Banksy.co.uk