This piece plays on the notion that the grass may be greener, and the landscape (perhaps environmental, perhaps political) may be better on the other side of this large barrier (although we know that it isn't). The artist may also be suggesting that a better political landscape could only emerge if the barrier were destroyed. By including children in this, and several others of the murals on the wall, the artist forces us to consider the toll that the local conflict takes on the innocent. The viewer is even more strongly implicated in the work through the direct gaze of the children.
The piece can be read in many ways. In one respect, Banksy is advocating for a sexual-identity accepting society by placing icons of authority in a pro-gay position. His use of policemen, rather than ordinary citizens, is intriguing, because the very subjects of his tender portrayal are often the ones to working to eradicate his vandalism. While some believe that he is poking fun at policemen, showing them in a vulnerable, intimate moment, others read the work more positively, as showing a human side to the police force, and emphasizing the strong bonds that exist on the police force between partners and teammates. The work is an undeniable testament to Banksy's use of irony to challenge us to build a bridge of understanding between expected enemies of ideology.
Banksy once characterised graffiti as a form of underclass "revenge", or guerilla warfare that allows an individual to snatch away power, territory and glory from a bigger and better equipped enemy. Banksy sees a social class component to this struggle, remarking "If you don't own a train company then you go and paint on one instead." Banksy's work has also shown a desire to mock centralised power, hoping that their work will show the public that although power does exist and works against you, that power is not terribly efficient and it can and should be deceived.
Banksy is no stranger to controvery, but sometimes it is not the pieces of his art you would expect that prove to be the most divisive. Tox is one of those pieces. In June 2011, graffiti lover Daniel Halpin, aka Tox was convicted of tagging multiple locations over a three year period. The prosecution mocked him as ‘no Banksy’ due to a lack of artistry in his tagging. In response Banksy put up the piece which shows a little boy writing ‘Tox’ in bubbles. Opinion is split as to whether this is a show of solidarity or being used to poke fun at Halpin. Location of Tox.
What size of artwork is correct for different kinds of furniture? That’s totally up to your design vision. As a general guideline, however, many interior decorators recommend shooting for art that occupies about two-thirds to three-quarters the size of your furniture. Large art tends to get noticed more than smaller pieces. What if you have a long sofa or sectional and can’t find any art that’s big enough? One idea is to create an art grouping. Two or three similarly-sized photographs feel like a single unit. When it comes to height, it’s customary to hang art at eye-level. That’s usually between 5 and 6 feet from the floor, although you can feel free to place it lower if it feels more natural for the space. That’s often the case in dining rooms.
I wasn’t told when it would happen, but then the next day people started calling, saying, “Have you seen what’s on your building?” There was this giant mural. Looters isn’t subtle [it depicts two National Guards taking a TV out of a window]. There were reports of looting after Hurricane Katrina and Gustav and he’s obviously channelled that into his wry contempt for authority.
The Westminster City Council stated in October 2008 that the work One Nation Under CCTV, painted in April 2008 would be painted over as it was graffiti. The council said it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and specifically stated that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child". Robert Davis, the chairman of the council planning committee told The Times newspaper: "If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art." The work was painted over in April 2009. In December 2008, The Little Diver, a Banksy image of a diver in a duffle coat in Melbourne, Australia, was destroyed. The image had been protected by a sheet of clear perspex; however, silver paint was poured behind the protective sheet and later tagged with the words "Banksy woz ere". The image was almost completely obliterated.
This is perhaps one of the most famous of all Banksy pieces and shows a man hanging from a window after his clandestine affair looks set to be discovered by his mistress’s husband. With typical Banksy irony, it was daubed on the side of a sexual health clinic in Frogmore Street, although according to the clinic’s director in the book “Home Sweet Home“, when Banksy was told this by email he responded to say that hadn’t realised it was a sexual health clinic and thought it was really funny. In the last few years the graffiti was unfortunately vandalised with blue paint, but it remains there to this day, albeit in the vandalised state. Man Hanging From Window location
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2018 saw Banksy return to New York five years after his Better Out Than In residency. A trademark rat running around the circumference of a clock-face, dubbed Rat race, was torn down by developers within a week of it appearing on a former bank building at 101 West 14th Street, but other works, including a mural of imprisoned kurdish artist Zehra Doğan on the famed Bowery Wall and a series of others across Brooklyn, remain on display.
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There is some debate over whether or not Secured is actually a genuine Banksy artwork. It appeared on a boarded up window of a building in Concert Street, Liverpool and pokes fun at companies who use cheap migrant workers for jobs such as security guards. The full text reads “Secured – by sleepy migrant workers on minimum wage”. The board was exhibited at the Stealing Banksy exhibition, but as this was not done in partnership with Banksy and none of that displayed artworks were authenticated by Banksy or his representative Pest Control this does not prove that this is a genuine Banksy. Secured location
In May 2009, Banksy parted company with agent Steve Lazarides and announced that Pest Control, the handling service who act on his behalf, would be the only point of sale for new works. On 13 June 2009, the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show opened at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, featuring more than 100 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet, featuring 78 new works. Reaction to the show was positive, with over 8,500 visitors to the show on the first weekend. Over the course of the twelve weeks, the exhibition was visited over 300,000 times. In September 2009, a Banksy work parodying the Royal Family was partially destroyed by Hackney Council after they served an enforcement notice for graffiti removal to the former address of the property owner. The mural had been commissioned for the 2003 Blur single "Crazy Beat" and the property owner, who had allowed it to be painted, was reported to have been in tears when she saw it was being painted over.
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:
In one of the more unusually-placed positions, the white-stencilled words “This is not a Photo Opportunity” appear approximately 40 metres up a steep, rocky path just off Cliff Road (B3135) in the picturesque Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. It first appeared in around 2004 and although it has weathered significantly since then it’s outline is still visible. This is not a Photo Opportunity – approx location
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.”
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The crazy thing is that at the time we were trying to sell the house, but couldn’t sell it because of the graffiti. People went, “We love the house, but we’re not buying it with all that stuff on the side.” Then we had this bright idea of selling the Banksy and throwing the house in for free as a publicity stunt for the urban art gallery Red Propeller we were starting.
I wanted to make sure any buyer would preserve the mural, but then it all kicked off. The phone started ringing day and night. An Australian offered £400,000. Someone from Los Angeles wanted to take the entire wall to California – the house would have fallen down. When the council sent someone to clean it off, the local people went mad and chased them down the street: we were all very protective of the Banksy. But once the news got round, someone broke into the house, smashed it up and chucked buckets of red paint all over the picture. It was ruined, but then every graffiti artist in Bristol wanted to tag it, so it became this collage of graffiti art, with the remnants of the Banksy still visible.
At the heart of his newer pieces was the idea of ‘Brandalism’ – a combination of ‘brand’ and ‘vandalism’ borrowed from US punk culture. Copying the techniques and language of advertising through slogans and simple images, Banksy's work appeared in clever public locations and attacked brands from Tesco to Nike. Each new work became a newsworthy event and the myth of Banksy as a masked, anonymous Robin Hood-type character poking fun at the powers-that-be began to emerge.
A stencil painting attributed to Banksy appeared at a vacant petrol station in the Ensley neighbourhood of Birmingham, Alabama on 29 August as Hurricane Gustav approached the New Orleans area. The painting, depicting a hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan hanging from a noose, was quickly covered with black spray paint and later removed altogether. His first official exhibition in New York City, The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, opened 5 October 2008. The animatronic pets in the store window include a mother hen watching over her baby Chicken McNuggets as they peck at a barbecue sauce packet, and a rabbit putting makeup on in a mirror.