Category Archives: Banksy – Inside

Unofficial Banksy show in London – last few days

BANKSY The Unauthorised Retrospective
Curated by Steve Lazarides

Large scale exhibitions of Banksy works indoors in London are rare things indeed – especially if you exclude those that feature ripped off the wall artworks. The Cans Festival of 2008 (which technically was outside) and Crude Oils back in 2005 were probably the last official events. This is something of a disappointment to many visitors to the capital who often ask this site where they can see an exhibition of the artists works.  Asides from the locations map and the odd unofficial show put on by the Andipa gallery there’s not been much.

Trouncing all previous unauthorised shows and curated by Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides this one is actually worth seeing. Yes, the rarified atmosphere of a Sotheby’s gallery with its attendant security guards and receptionists seems partly at odds with the style of the work but if its the art you want to see then this is currently the place to do it. There are a healthy smattering of never seen before in public pieces along with those that haven’t been on show since they were presumably sold at previous exhibitions. Down in the basement are several walls full of some of the rarest Banksy prints you’ll ever set eyes on. Many are labelled as number 3 in their edition size. I’ll leave you to guess who has 1 and 2 (which roughly translates as I don’t know).

Here’s a taster of what’s on show – and don’t forget after the 25th July you’re unlikely to see much of this stuff again any time in the near future.

On the left is Monkey Queen, a stencil with oil and emulsion that was originally at the little attended Glasgow Arches ‘Peace Is Tough’ exhibition in 2001. In the middle there is the never seen in public before Burger King Kid work which featured in Wall And Piece. On the right Sunflowers From  Petrol Station which  appeared at Crude Oils in 2005.

By the entrance are some small glass cabinets chock full of contact sheets, rare stickers and other paraphernalia from Banksy’s early career. These give a great insight into some of Banksy’s earliest images, particularly in London.

Turf War – based on an inspired defacement of Winston Churchill’s statue outside Westminster. Originally on show high up at the Turf War exhibition of 2003.

Guantanamo Bay. Previously seen at Crude Oils, 2005 and Barely Legal in LA, 2006

Trolleys – Last seen at the LA exhibition Barely Legal, 2006

Bomb Middle England (Diptych) from 2000

Pest Control – Banksus Militus Vandulus: Originally covertly installed in the Natural History Museum in 2004

UFO: Last seen at Banksy vs Bristol Museum, 2009, previously on show at Barely Legal, Los Angeles, 2006.

Nice early piece from around 2000, never seen this one before. In the background is Bullet Proof David from the Barely Legal show

The print room downstairs includes six colour ways of Kate Moss Prints from an edition of 20. Ask the price if you dare.

Soup cans galore including the print that started it all on the left.

Flying Copper from the 2003 Turf War exhibition

Banksy The Unauthorised Retrospective closes 25th July 2014. Entry is free

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The Sincura Show – Nothing to see here

No pictures on this post because I haven’t gone to see the exhibition above. Why? Because…

- it’s not authorised by the artist, in fact from the above I’d say he hates it.

- the organisers have destroyed the entire context of the pieces on display and then want you to cough up 20 quid to look at what was given to the public for free.

- it encourages the organisers and others to take Banksy pieces off walls where anyone could enjoy them and puts them in the hands of the moneyed elite with no morals.

There is no power without control. They’ve taken a gift to you and want to charge you to view it then say you can’t take pictures and that this is the last time you’ll see it. Why, because their aim is to sell to the highest bidder. They even employ goons to ensure no vandalism,… I could go on but really it’s all in this post on Graffoto .

If you want to see some real Banksy art in London this weekend check here.

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Saturday 22nd March, 12 noon PST

ORIGINAL POST, read the update below: Following on from collaborations with other artists such as Shepard Fairey, Faile and Invader BNE.org are reportedly planning a collab with Banksy to mark World Water Day at 12 Noon PST sharp on BNE.org. And that’s about all I know right now. So check in on the day at the right time to find out more.

UPDATE: Message on Banksy.co.uk “Banksy Has Not Made Any T Shirts For A Water Charity”. This is exactly why I used the word “reportedly’ in my original post as it seemed odd. Once details were released on BNE.org including the claim that this was the first and last time he would do this I smelled a rat and not the Banksy kind. Banksy has definitely produced T-shirts on several occasions before including Wrong War and Turf War designs. Supporting clean water for drinking and sanitation around the world is still very much a worthwhile cause but you don’t need to buy an expensive T shirt of very questionable authenticity to do this.

Finally a few pictures from last weeks #withsyria campaign support:

 

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#withsyria

On March 6th, 2011 in the Syrian city of Daraa several young boys were caught writing on a wall that “the people want to overthrow the regime”. The authorities responded by arresting over a dozen children, reportedly torturing them. It was an event that led to serious unrest and was part of a protest that ultimately turned into a full scale uprising that has rapidly led into a civil war. Three years on and 9 million Syrians have been displaced, many fleeing to neighbouring countries to find shelter. While world leaders wring their hands and ineffectually posture the suffering continues unabated.

On the 13th March 2014 an attempt will be made to show these leaders that we haven’t forgotten, that we will not ignore. Stand with Syria (#withsyria) is a worldwide demonstration of solidarity with the Syrian people. Vigils will be held in London (Trafalgar Square), New York, Khartoum, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Melbourne and other locations in over 30 countries and involving multiple organisations. As a symbol of this demonstration Banksy has created a new version of one of his most iconic images – the girl with a balloon. Entitled “There Is Always Hope” the child in the picture is now Syrian and it will a prominent motif in the vigils taking place. Get involved, show your support, the organisers have made it as easy as attending an event, taking a picture, updating your status or using the #withsyria tag to take part. Let’s try to make them listen. We need a breakthrough, we need peace. Now.

Read more: Oxfam, BBC

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Caveat Emptor

After receiving a plexiglass coating in a near record breaking time Banksy’s bunting piece has remained in place on the side of a Poundland since May 2012. Not any more as witnessed by this photo kindly supplied by Sarah.

Now what would appear to have happened in this instance is that someone’s offered the wall owner some money and it’s been cut straight out of the wall. It’s now appearing on a US based auction house site with an price estimate starting at $400K. This always creates a bit of controversy and here ares my thoughts about the whole sorry mess.

The Wall Owner. You can’t blame them can you? Someone sprays something on your wall, then someone offers you thousands of pounds for it and also to pay for the wall to be restored. Worse things could happen I guess.

The buyer who paid for it to be removed it from the wall. They’ll probably try and defend their action by saying they were preserving it or some other crap. It’s just about the money of course. That art was put there by the artist for everyone to see not for some chancer to line their pockets. Absolute tossers without question.

The auction house. If they are a decent outfit I can’t see why they’d touch this. There’s no Pest Control Office authentication that it’s a Banksy piece and there’s unlikely to be. Banksy doesn’t spray stuff in the street to line the pockets of speculators.

Of course writing all of the above is pretty pointless, shit happens.  Joe Strummer neatly summed it up when he said “Greed, it ain’t going anywhere. They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that. Without people you’re nothing.”.

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Banksy – Eight Banksy books reviewed in four lines

 

 

Banksy has had a slew of books released about him over the past year. Are they any good, which one should you buy, are the older ones worth getting? For what it’s worth here are eight of the main currently available contenders reviewed.

Seven Years With Banksy (Robert Clarke / Michael O’Mara Books)

What’s it about? A look at Banksy from a more personal view and not just from his street art.

Unique Selling Point: The author claims to have actually met the man himself on more than one occasion including waiting outside once when he was once doing some graffiti in London. He writes about dreams he has had about Banksy.

Not so great: It’s quite unlikely that Banksy will ever be writing  a book entitled “My Seven Years With Robert Clarke”. And if the typeface was any larger this book would be printed in fuzzy felt.

Who’s it for? People who enjoyed Bobby’s shower dream sequence in Dallas.

Wall and Piece (Banksy / Random press

You’ve got this one already, right? What do you mean “no”? Ignore the rest of this article and just start with this one (and by the way its now 2012 in case you hadn’t noticed).

What’s it about? All the best work displayed as it was intended, including plenty you won’t see elsewhere, with loads of verbal wit too.

Unique Selling Point: It’s from the horses mouth.

Not so great: it’s a few years old now so misses out a lot of the more recent work but, hey, if you want that there’s always the Internet.

Who’s it for? Pretty much everybody

Banksy – The Man Behind The Wall (Will Ellsworth Jones / Aurum Press)

What’s it about? A weighty tome from a ‘serious’ investigative journalist that seeks to find out who Banksy is without killing the golden goose.

Unique Selling Point: The author has actually occasionally got off his arse to go and interview people face to face rather than just spending a couple of hours on Google doing copy and paste.

Not so great: The author says it is time that Banksy should officially reveal his identity – as if this decision has something to do with Mr Ellsworth Jones who needs to sit himself down and get his ego back under control.

Who’s it for? People who didn’t know know a lot about Banksy before 2009 (for example Will Ellsworth Jones).

Banksy: You are an acceptable level of threat and if you were not you would know about it. (Gary Shove / Carpet Bombing Culture)

What’s it about? A collection of some of the best photographs of Banksy’s work including recent pieces with an irreverent tone.

Unique selling point: The author knows a good photo when he sees one.

Not so great: The Banksy Flickr group appears to have been mugged for the content of the book or, put more simply, you can see all this stuff elsewhere for free.

Who’s it for? People who like pretty pictures and who think they are above actually buying a book by Banksy himself “‘cos he’s like old hat”.

 

Banksy Locations And Tours Volumes 1 and 2 (various editions) (Martin Bull / Shellshock Publishing)

What’s it about? The definitive printed guide to the locations of Banksy artworks in the UK.

Unique Selling Point: Author Martin Bull has actually been to all these places, knows the history of the pieces and shares all this knowledge in minute detail.

Not so great: You’d be ill advised to go to these locations without checking their status via the free updates available from Shellshock publishing.

Who’s it for: Those who like a walk in the less salubrious part of the UK or those who suffer from Anoraksia.

Banksy Myths and Legends (Marc Leverton / Carpet Bombing Culture)

What’s it about? All the gossip and rumours, kind of like if OK magazine did a Banksy special.

Unique Selling point: It’s in a A5 format exactly like Banksy’s early books which is pretty cool if you think the best place to appreciate art is in the toilet.

Not so great: What’s fact, what’s fiction? Confused? You most certainly will be.

Who’s it for? People who still think Popbitch is a good source of information.

Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home (Steve Wright / Tangent Books)

What’s it about? A look at Banksy’s early career before he became a household name (well everyone in my household has heard of him by now anyway)

Unique Selling point: Some genuinely interesting content and insights put together with care from contacting people who know.

Not so great: Let’s face it, camera and picture quality often sucked in the late 90’s.

Who’s it for? Those with an interest in the early days.

Banksy: The Bristol Legacy (Paul Gough / Redcliffe Press Limited)

What’s it about? Banksy’s impact on his home city reaches far and wide and its all documented here.

Unique Selling Point: The most in depth look at how his 2009 Museum show was put together, interviewing some of those who made it happen.

Not so great: includes quotes from serial art lover antagonist Brian Sewell like anybody should give a fuck what he says,

Who’s It For? Those who went, obsessives and nosey parkers.

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Free Er… Banksy Print*

* You need to print it yourself

Uploaded onto picturesonwalls.com today is a right Royal new Banksy image to celebrate 60 years of HRH’s Queen Elizabeth II’s benefit scrounging. It’s free too for you to download and print on anything you like. Maybe you’d like to print off a whole batch and drop them like confetti from a bridge over the River Thames in central London as the Royal Pageant floats underneath? This might actually be quite hard as most bridges are closed with access to accredited people attending exclusive events only. Old habits die hard eh? Welcome to the modern monarchy, three cheers for Liz! Or as a certain Mr Lydon once put it “God Save The Queen, because tourists are money”.

Download a hi-res version of this Banksy image free from picturesonwalls.com

With the flag waving season in overdrive it’s also worth remembering this adage:

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Banksy.co.uk updated

Its always interesting when Banksy updates his website as we usually get to see some new works and its a chance to get some older ones confirmed. This time around there’s a good selection in both categories. The origami bird with a goldfish spotted in Lyme Regis earlier this year appears for the first time as does last weeks child making bunting.

Images: artofthestate

There’s a bunch of other new images in the Outside section some of which haven’t been seen before or at least have never been attributed to Banksy.

On the Inside section there are again new works on display including an amazing look at his studio. Go to banksy.co.uk for higher resolution versions as these are just low-res copies.

Images: banksy.co.uk

Finally the shop page has been updated with a new take on the “I went to London and all I got Was This Lousy Tshirt” motif. Here’s a new version that’s still in situ on Sclater Street in the much overplayed streets of Shoreditch.

Image: artofthestate

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