Friday, 25 April 2008

Banksy Strikes London Again

BanksyI was incredibly excited to see my first “live” Banksy in London yesterday and, what’s more, it is only 10 days old! The graffiti artist (I use this term loosely for he is soooo much more than that) has, once again, produced a piece of work on a gargantuan scale under a veil of secrecy. What is known about this latest work in Newman Street (just seconds away from bustling Oxford Street) is that on the weekend of April 12th/13th, three stories of scaffolding were erected within aBanksy secured Royal Mail yard and shrouded with tarpaulin. It is believed the actual art work was carried out under further cover of darkness. Ironically Banksy was surrounded by CCTV cameras but apparently none captured an image of the elusive artist!

So… Who is Banksy? Nobody knows for sure. There are one or two photos on the internet claiming to be Banksy but no sighting has ever been confirmed. Similarly, a few names have been bandied about in an attempt to reveal his identity but even his agent says she has never met the artist! (But I doubt he put that scaffoldinBanksyg up single handedly so someone, somewhere knows who he is!).

What is Banksy? Graffiti artist, street artist and guerrilla artist all describe Banksy as do satirist, social and political commentator and even urban or plain old vandal. It all depends on how you view his particular form of art.

Where is Banksy? Nobody knows where the artist lives but he is thought to originate from Bristol. His work can be seen all over London, Bristol, New York, Los Angeles, Palestine, Sydney and Melbourne.Banksy

I have long been an admirer of Banksy’s work and was thrilled to see such a new piece in situ - untouched by graffiti taggers or painted over by over zealous council workers (Last year one of his most iconic images, the Pulp Fiction banana parody, was painted over by Transport For London who claimed the “graffiti” produced an atmosphere of “social decay” and encouraged crime). I am not alone in my admiration though; famous celebrities and collectors have paid tens of thousands of pounds for Banksy originals reaching a whopping £288,000 for one piece (believed to be bought by Angelina Jolie!)

Love or hate Banksy’s work or the principle behind it, the sheer scale and speed at which he produces his stencil based works surely cannot fail to impress?

To download free images from the man himself visit the Banksy Online Shop.

To view all my Banksy photos visit flickr.

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