Banksy: From 'Civil Sculptor' To Dismaland & Beyond



From This Is Bristol/Bristol Evening Post

By Chris Allen c.allen BRISTOL-born cult graffiti artist Banksy has agreed to pay for the removal of a satirical 20-foot-high bronze statue which he covertly cemented into a London square.

The monument - a protest at the British legal system - was placed in Clerkenwell Green, in Islington, in the early hours of Wednesday last week.

Islington Council removed it using a crane two days later and the authority is now waiting for Banksy to collect it - and pay their costs.

An official said: "There will be a bill attached to it."

It is understood Banksy, whose identity was recently revealed in the Evening Post, has agreed to foot the bill, although it was unclear how much the removal operation cost.

His spokeswoman said the elusive artist would send someone to pick it up within days.

The statue, called Trust No One, is thought to have cost £22,000 to construct, and, made of solid bronze, it weighs three-and-a-half tonnes.

It showed the figure of justice - whose statue overlooks the Old Bailey in London - as a prostitute with leather boots, a thong and a dollar bill stuffed in her garter.

A message from Banksy, which was attached to the statue, said: "This is a brand new monument for London.

"It is dedicated to thugs, bullies, liars, thieves, the corrupt, the arrogant and the stupid. Essentially it is dedicated to the entire British legal system."

He said it was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of Kevin Callan, a lorry driver who was the victim of a miscarriage of justice when he was convicted in 1991 for the murder of a four-year-old child. His conviction was overturned in 1995.

At the time of the unveiling, Banksy said: "It's the most honest depiction of British justice on display in the capital. I hope it stays there for good."

The 28-year-old, whose real name is understood to be Robert Banks, has achieved cult status as an artist and has been dubbed "the new Andy Warhol" by some collectors.

He once described himself as a "professional vandal" and has been condemned for vandalising public property with his politically-motivated graffiti.

Islington Council workers tried to remove his London statue when it first went up, but realised they needed specialist equipment and abandoned the attempt.

It was finally removed on Friday morning using a truck and a crane.

A council spokeswoman said: "It's being stored at a local facility and we've been in contact with Banksy's agent for them to come and collect it when they see fit."

Original article- This Is Bristol
im sure saatchi would buy it :D
Ugh. I hate political artists....

I have many artist friends, there are days Im not very fond of them either...
i like the underground artist thing.. i really must do soemic like that one day....thinks..
well usualy the "politics" they espose are so childish one wonders why they bother... prefer the subtale aproch myself...there was a good web site of additions to town sighns (i think in Ireland)..things like TWINNED WITH HELL etc..only cleverer.
What! hes that (insert term I was told not to use on the Net, and that from some very broad minded people, too.) who promote the use of `stencils` in graffiti??
Erm... Whats the problem with stencils? (Except here in south Bristol where a bunch of hippies keep stencilling peace and love crap all over the local foot-bridge. Hippies really know how to inspire hatred!))
Banksy's flying rats are brilliant. You find them on random corners, specially in Clifton, and there's also the huge Molotov-cocktail throwing teddy on Glouscester Road. I'd rather have Banksy stencils than stupid Lewis Da Baron any day. Piece tagging! Bah!!
The image with the Vietnamese girl flanked by Ronald McDonald and Mickey Mouse is my personal favourite - it stings the most.

I would question that art is ever non-political? Artists have always been involved in politics, explicitly or not - and any art that says something about human nature and human beings, is of course political in some way. Even the fluffy bunnies on a franklin Mint vintage collectors' plate have something political about them.
You gotta love this guy :lol:

Caveman and Trolley Fake Rocks British Museum

By Sherna Noah, PA Arts Correspondent

Staff at the British Museum have been left with red faces after discovering a hoax exhibit on display – a cave painting of a primitive man pushing a supermarket trolley.

The “rock painting”, entitled Early Man Goes to Market, depicts the outline of a spear-wielding caveman pushing a trolley, next to the outline of a pig.

The work was planted by anonymous “art terrorist” Banksy, whose creation failed to raise eyebrows at one of London’s most famous museums.

This is not the first time Banksy has stuck fake objects to gallery walls and waited to see how long it takes before curators notice.

Museum staff were alerted yesterday after Banksy put a message on his website, saying that the 10in by 6in rock, “had remained in the collection for quite some time”.

Museum staff discovered the rock, stuck to a wall with double-sided tape in a gallery of artefacts from Roman Britain.

It was placed beneath a limestone statue, a 1st Century tombstone found in Tower Hill and a case full of statuettes from Roman Britain in Gallery 49.

Banksy had placed it alongside a caption, stating: “This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the Post-Catatonic era and is thought to depict early man venturing towards the out-of-town hunting grounds.”

He added: “The artist responsible is known to have created a substantial body of work across South East of England under the moniker Banksymus Maximus but little else is known about him.

“Most art of this type has unfortunately not survived. The majority is destroyed by zealous municipal officials who fail to recognise the artistic merit and historical value of daubing on walls.”

Banksy’s previous stunts include a 3.5-tonne bronze spoof of the Old Bailey’s statue of Justice in thigh-high PVC boots and a suspender belt.

The mystery artist has also placed a painting of a can of Tesco value tomato soup and a woman wearing a gas mask in galleries in New York.

A British Museum spokeswoman said: “We’re reasonably confident that it hadn’t been up for that long, maybe a couple of days.

“But we’re seeing the lighter side of it.

“It looked very much in keeping with the other exhibits, the explanatory text was quite similar.”

sidecar_jon said:
i like the underground artist thing.. i really must do soemic like that one day....thinks..
Oh, you mean it wasn't you who put those cannons up on the roundabout?! ;)
_39920736_banksy_203300.jpg ... 537136.stm
I always get excited when I see a banksy in some random bit of london - he obviously puts his grafs in places where they're going to be seen, much like basquiat who rather consciously graffitied close to art museums etc. Oh well, I certainly like banksy a sight more than tracy emin (who's hopefully old news by now).
I think the latest British Museum piece was quite amusing but looking at his site i do wish he wouldn't deface publc statues and tube trains etc.
it ain't big and it aint funny. Unless he is willing to pay for the clean up.
I work on the edge of Hoxton which is infested with artists. Anyone of them who doesn't get bought up by Saatchi reckons he has a right to stick his artwank on any available surface.
'Naked man' mural allowed to stay

A piece of graffiti by Bristol artist Banksy has been allowed to stay after what the city council described as "overwhelming support" from the public.

The stencilled image shows a woman in her underwear standing behind a suited man leaning out of a window, and a naked man hanging onto the ledge.

The public was invited to decide whether it should stay on the side of a building on Park Street or be removed.

An internet discussion forum showed 97% of submitters supported the work.

Many people who logged on highlighted the fact that Banksy is a Bristolian, and that his work "brightened up" the urban environment.

However, the council warned the support of the Banksy piece is not support of graffiti in general, and an extra council team has recently been created to tackle graffiti.

Only six people on the AskBristol forum wanted to see Banksy's latest contribution removed.

Three of these argued the work might encourage imitators and other graffiti that was less desirable; the others said graffiti of any sort made the city look scruffy.

"It is fantastic that Bristol's residents have felt so strongly about it as a work of art that they have been encouraged to register their views," said councillor Gary Hopkins.

"I have seen it bring a smile to people's faces as they stop to appraise it, so I personally am pleased that Bristol wants it to stay.

"I stress that the decision to keep this Banksy image is not a green light for more graffiti in the city."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/19 07:08:23 GMT

My sis is selling her bit of Banksy 'art' here if you or any of your chums are interested.

Met the guy on quite a few occasions, I think his art work is alright I guess.. Have to agree with the Jamaican photographer Peter Dean Rickards about him though. . Sorry, too busy at work to find the piece, but there's quite an attack on Banksy on Peters website.

Oh, Lady Stella, awright me babber! Personally, I think Lewis de Bad Off Baron, is the greatest tagger south o the river! Word.
Gang foiled over Banksy theft bid

A gang of thieves disguised as workmen tried to cash in on the popularity of guerilla artist Banksy - by trying to steal the door of a derelict building.

The Bristol-based artist had daubed a painting on the steel door in Slater Street, Liverpool, as part of the city's biennial in 2004.

The gang attempted to steal it but they were scared off by cleaners.

Work by Banksy is soaring in value, and at a recent auction one of his spray paintings sold for £62,400.

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie reportedly spent more than £200,000 on work by Banksy at a recent Los Angeles sale.

The work on the door, known as Liverpool Love Rat, has not been valued but is now under lock and key.

Jane Mills, director of Jacaranda Developments which owns the building, said: "These men just turned up dressed like builders and carrying tools.

"They tried to get the door off but it is very heavy and I think they were struggling.

"One of our cleaners spotted them and asked them what they were doing and they just ran off.

"It's a shame but we've had to move the door from public view and to a secret location because of this."

Ms Mills said she was now deciding what to do with the artwork following the attempted theft in October.

Banksy's last sale - a painting used on the cover of Blur's Think Tank album - went for 10 times its estimated value at Bonhams.

Another piece of his art produced for the same album, called Young Child With Bird, was sold for £31,200 - more than four times its estimate.

And at a Sotheby's sale in the previous week, his six silk-screen prints of model Kate Moss in the style of Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe pictures were auctioned for more than £50,000.

The artist has become notorious for his public stunts, including tampering with copies of Paris Hilton's album, showing the singer topless and with a dog's head.

An exhibition in Los Angeles, called Barely Legal, provoked criticism for his use of a live painted elephant.

In 2005, he targeted a security wall in Israel, creating nine stencil sprays on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/11/30 16:05:20 GMT

I walk past "Mild Mild West" every morning, always cheers me up for some reason. My favourite bit was the scuba diver coming up out of the fountain outside the Bristol City Council offices, pulling a giant bath plug behind him, didnt last long as you can imagine..
I think that in this instance, value clearly infringes on the artwork's merit, if such lengths are taken as to hide his work. Sort of counter the point of its creation. It is part installation after all. Once removed from its intended location you'd think it'd drop in value. But, oh no, clearly more dollars than sense.
Iconic Banksy image painted over

(click to enlarge)

London transport workers have painted over an iconic mural by "guerrilla artist" Banksy estimated to be worth more than £300,000.

The image depicted a scene from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, with Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns.

It had become one of the most famous graffiti paintings by the artist.

Transport for London said a tough line had to be taken on graffiti because it created an atmosphere of social decay.

The Pulp Fiction mural was visible near Old Street Tube station.

In place of the famous image, another graffiti artist has spray-painted the words "come back" in large letters.

Banksy has become one of art's hottest properties, with Angelina Jolie and Christina Aguilera among those who are reported to have splashed out on his work.

George Thomas, who owns a barber's shop near the site, told the Independent the image was a "real draw" to the area.

"People used to come from all over to see it and photograph it," he said.

"There is no way it could have been mistaken for graffiti. Whoever destroyed it is an idiot."

In March a wall mural in east London by the artist was almost entirely removed by thieves.

One of Banksy's early murals was mistakenly painted over in the same month by Bristol council's graffiti-removal contractors.

And in February two smaller works in London were also painted over.

Commenting on the latest incident, a spokesman said Transport for London had to take a tough line on removing graffiti because it created a "general atmosphere of neglect and social decay which in turn encourages crime".

"We have no intention of changing this policy as it makes the transport system safer and more pleasant for passengers."

The spokesman added that the company recognised that there were some who viewed Banksy's work as legitimate art but that their graffiti removal teams were "staffed by professional cleaners not professional art critics".

Last year Banksy left a life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee at the California theme park Disneyland.

And in 2005, he decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/04/20 12:07:44 GMT

Banksy painting fetches £288,000


Ha! Someone at the bbc obviously thinks the same way I do about the man, look at the second image down and the caption that goes along with it (The painting is slightly more handsome than Monsieur Banks mind :lol: )
I went to this earlier today.

And I'll be going back :).

Auntie Beeb, she say:
Banksy in secret exhibition stunt

Graffiti artist Banksy has pulled off an audacious stunt amid tight secrecy to stage his biggest ever exhibition.

A burned-out ice-cream van is among 100 works Banksy has installed at Bristol's museum, replacing many of the museum's regular artefacts.

The reason the museum was closed was kept secret from top council officials.

Banksy said: "This is the first show I've ever done where taxpayers' money is being used to hang my pictures up rather than scrape them off."

Staged in the council-owned City Museum and Art Gallery, Banksy v Bristol Museum features animatronics, installations and a sensory display.

"This show is my vision of the future, to which many people will say: 'You should have gone to Specsavers'", Banksy added.

The exhibition and its location have been a closely-guarded secret since October, with just a couple of museum officials in the loop.

"I think we may have dragged them down to our level rather than being elevated to theirs," said Banksy of the subterfuge involved in staging the show in his home city.


Museum director Kate Brindley said it was a huge relief to finally be able to talk about the exhibition, and admitted they had taken a "risk".

Plans for the summer show were kept from Bristol City Council chiefs until Friday - the day before it was due to open.

Bristol has had a love-hate relationship with Banksy since he started stencilling on the city's walls in the 1990s. There is likely to be criticism of the decision to stage an official expo of his work.

"We ran a bit of a risk," said Ms Brindley, "but we knew that it was just the right thing for the city..."
more at linked page.

It's terrific!
Graffiti artist Banksy has announced an exhibition at a derelict seafront lido in Weston-super-Mare.

The Dismaland show - which will also feature work from Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty - will take over the Tropicana site for six weeks.

The show is his first in the UK since 2009's Banksy v Bristol Museum show which drew huge crowds.

Banksy described the show as a "family theme park unsuitable for children".


In addition to art there are a few rides, completely impossible fair games, interactive artworks, random live performances and unexpected spectacles happening throughout the day. The entire exhibition is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who seem completely uninterested in being helpful or informative. Even trying to find the exit was a near herculean effort.

Only £3 entry!

I can't wait to go. It looks like an ideal holiday trip for me. A cynical and darkly satirical theme park? Perfect!
I couldn't imagine anything worse than a day there among the self-satisfied hip crowd it will attract.
I agree. There's only so much indictment and self-smugness that I can handle. I find his graffitti stuff to be very "A-level student". Oh look, a tea bag drying on a police truncheon.
Yeah, I can't imagine anything improving on the superbly creepy atmosphere of an abandoned amusement park anyway.