Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been Banskied

Just before leaving London I borrowed my friend Clementine's camera to take a few pics. One of my favorite pictures was this one:

(Hola! This image belongs to me! The art, I suppose, belongs to Bansky?)

I thought I was very clever to capture this street scene, the ominous graffiti and the public going about their business below, oblivious, inured.

Then today I saw this on the BBC:

An artwork by street artist Banksy in central London will be removed to send a message to graffiti artists in the city, a council has decided.

Westminster City Council has ordered a 23ft-high (7m) mural, entitled One Nation Under CCTV, to be removed from a building on Newman Street.

The artist's sketches have sold for thousands of pounds at auctions.

But deputy leader of the council Robert Davis said keeping the mural would mean "condoning" graffiti.

The mural has the words "One Nation Under CCTV" stencilled above two painted people.

One appears to be a child in a red hooded top apparently painting the words, while a police officer holding a camera and a brown dog look on.

The mural is painted on the wall of a building shared by Royal Mail and another business.

Of course he is not going to fill in a form and apply for permission. Notoriety is what makes Banksy exist
Rupert Maas, art critic

The council said the artist did not gain the necessary permission and, once it has established who owns the painted wall, the artwork will be removed by the owner.

Mr Davis, who is also chairman of the council's planning sub committee, said: "I take the view that this is graffiti and if you condone this then what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city?

"If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London."

Mr Davis said the building's owner had "every right" to sell or exhibit the Banksy graffiti - as long as it was removed from the wall.

"What we are against is people coming around without proper permission or consent and exhibiting their work without permission."

'Vibrant and interesting'

Art critic Rupert Maas defended Banksy's graffiti, saying it made the city "vibrant and interesting".

"He is doing something that is quite valid," Mr Maas said.

"Here he is making a point that we are increasingly governed by CCTV cameras. I think it's great - good for him."

Mr Maas added: "Of course he is not going to fill in a form and apply for permission. Notoriety is what makes Banksy exist."

Banksy has created at least one other artwork in the borough, in an underpass in Marble Arch.

But that mural has not been removed as the whole area is being redeveloped, the council said.

Banksy's CCTV mural on Newman Street
The mural will be removed once the owner of the wall is established

More on the Bansky installation in New York soon...



Anonymous said...

oh but how nifty that you did photograph it!

Lola Is Beauty said...

yesterday I was walking down Clink St in Borough where there was once the best Banksy mural - I only remember it vaguely as it was removed ages ago -it was something like gangsters with machine guns or maybe soldiers - all black and white v. graphic, sort of Clockwork Orange in style. I totally can't remember the message behind it. Anyway since it was removed (before Banksy became really well known) that wall has been re-painted and boarded up and all sorts and someone now seems to have commissioned (or not) another fairly boring mural in its place! Banksy's mural was amazing - they should be so lucky to have art like that put there for free. Also noticed that the famous wall in Park Street where Banksy stencilled "This is not a photo opportunity" has been scrubbed out recently. So weird. I think people are scared someone will steal their wall and sell it!

Lola Is Beauty said...

this was it:

southwark council are retards. Most of Banksy's "early work" (!) was in this area and it's all been painted over - why is a blank grey wall better?

Bombay Beauty said...

Nancy --- indeed, I was pleased to have been Banskied!

Lola - Indeed, I think owners of blank walls should be pleased to be Banskied. I think I'm going to blow up my picture and frame it --


Olivia said...

Hey, I like your NYC/London connections. I am from London now living in NYC. Except for a few minor aspects, I prefer it here.

By the way, I came via Planethalder's blog.

Oddly enough there was something on a wall here in Brooklyn last month that reminded me of Banksy. In black and white applique' on a wall near the subway: two 1950s style children with their hands on their heart, "pledging allegiance" to a CCTV camera above them.

I never got a chance to photograph it before the rain obliterated it.

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