Forgive us our trespassing was one of several pieces completed in the run up to the premiere of Banksy’s ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ at the 2010 Sundance Festival in Utah. It shows a young boy seemingly seeking forgiveness for his act of Vandalism and some suggest it refers to Banksy’s own conflicted feelings about his work. Several versions of the boy were seen around Salt Lake City and Park City, but this particular one was painted over.
Arguably Banksy’s most iconic piece, it appeared in South Bank, London in around 2002. The words ‘There Is Always Hope’ are written just behind a young girl, who can be seen reaching for a balloon in the shape of a heart. Intense debate has raged on over the years regarding the true meaning of this stencil, with a variety of ideas involving love, innocence and – obviously – hope.
By 2008, despite the global financial crash, a Banksy 'vandalised' version of a Damien Hirst painting sold for over $1.8m. High profile art collectors and celebrities spend thousands to own a Banksy. Among the rich and famous, designer Paul Smith, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are known to be Banksy collectors. After claims that his success meant that he had sold out, Banksy said: “I love the way capitalism finds a place – even for its enemies. It’s boom time in the discontent industry.”
In April 2007, Transport for London painted over Banksy's image of a scene from Quentin Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction (1994), featuring Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns. Although the image was very popular, Transport for London claimed that the graffiti created "a general atmosphere of neglect and social decay which in turn encourages crime" and their staff are "professional cleaners not professional art critics". Banksy painted the same site again and, initially, the actors were portrayed as holding real guns instead of bananas, but they were adorned with banana costumes. Some time later, Banksy made a tribute artwork over this second Pulp Fiction work. The tribute was for 19-year-old British graffiti artist Ozone who, along with fellow artist Wants, was hit by an underground train in Barking, east London on 12 January 2007. Banksy depicted an angel wearing a bullet-proof vest holding a skull. They also wrote a note on their website saying:
Banksy is without doubt the world’s most famous and celebrated graffiti artist. To some, his works of art are poignant, thought-provoking, ironic and humorous. To others, it is just plain vandalism. Whichever side of the fence you are on, there can be no doubt that he is a very talented and clever artist and conveys his views in a way that many of us could not manage to do. I have put together here a list of the best Banksy graffiti art and street art pieces, with as many as possible showing the various locations of his artworks and with Google “Street Map” views where applicable. So here goes….
The Mona Lisa is perhaps the most famous painting of all time, and it is also one which is often parodied. Banksy is no exception. This re-imagining of Mona Lisa as a terrorist toting a rocket launcher appeared in London. It has been spotted in various locations, but it is unclear as to whether these are copies or if they all belong to the elusive Banksy.
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This Banksy work was found in Hastings and depicts a young child building sandcastles. This in itself is not controversial, but when we notice that Tesco is printed on the sandcastles it takes on a new meaning. Consumerism is a common theme in Banksy’s work and here he seems to be indicating that the supermarket giant is taking over the country! The artwork is still visible on the Sea wall although it has been defaced by other graffitti artists. Approximate location of Tesco Sandcastle.
The Thekla boat in Bristol was originally tagged by Banksy in 2003. The moored nightclub boat’s owners posted an image of the “tag” on their website and asked their customers whether it should stay. The response was to keep it, but Bristol City Council later ordered its removal. Years after its removal, Banksy returned and re-painted the Grim Reaper in the same spot where it remains to this day. Grim Reaper (Thekla) location