And, although much of this project was in physical form, the Digital Media space blew up, captivating audiences worldwide. No less than 350,000 new Banksy followers were made in just one full calendar month as he stuck to a daily entry of new street art material on his Instagram account.
The #banksy fix was used over 38,000 times across the Big Apple as users checked in with their own snaps & shots on the likes of Tumblr, Vine, YouTube & Twitter.
Banksy’s award was presented by American singer-songwriter, Patti Smith, and accepted by Webby Awards host and comedian, Patton Oswalt. He then read out a speech prepared by the artist, joking:
Somebody painted over it.
The awards show also commemorated the Web’s 25th anniversary and World Wide Web inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, gave a few words on the debatable points of Internet neutrality, swiftly followed by a standing ovation.
The Internet has got to be free and open and neutral. Up to us.
If you’re lucky enough to get gifted a one-off Banksy piece, then you can pretty much expect a big payout these days. Especially when he gives you his blessing!
The much talked about, Broad Plain Boys Club in Bristol, has been offered the fairly tidy sum of £1million for the Mobile Lovers mural that has dominated street art and graffiti news for the past month.
We’ve all become pretty accustomed to the fact that a Banksy original will easily fetch anything from around £200k plus, but this one is special, and not only because it’s been the centrepiece of a possession row.
However, this piece, comes with an extremely rare, signed, letter from the man himself, prompting bids from across the globe, as they hope to get their greedy mitts on the package.
We have had big offers from as far away as Beverly Hills, but I am concerned about choosing an appropriate auctioneer and one which is respectful of the work. I seen Banksy be critical of some of these auctions for the types of his art they sell so you have to be sensitive.
For now it is in the gallery for everyone to see but we are hoping to pin down an auctioneer this week some time.
Some of the offers we have had have been in excess of £1 million and the letter we have from Banksy is also thought to be very rare.
It’s all great news for the club and we hope to sell it for as much as possible to settle our finances and secure our future over the next few years at least.
In his conventional cloak-and-dagger style, Banksy’s identity remains a huge mystery, yet he still stepped in to back the “little guy” by writing a letter, addressed to the club owner, Dennis Stinchcombe, giving him his ‘blessing’ to do what he felt was right with the art.
Some art critics have said the man in the painting resembles former Prime Minister Tony Blair!
Sixty-four years prior to Banksy’s GCHQ-inspired mural, a young apprentice was creating his own masterpiece in the town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Reg Herrington was completing a five-year building and decorating apprenticeship at Bardwells, on Hewlett Road, when he was asked to paint a large ad for the firm on the side of a house, in the very same street as the Banksy piece.
I painted the picture in 1950, and it stayed on the wall for 20 years. It was a picture I painted of two men painting the wall working on scaffolding. It was of the foreman and one of his decorators, and they were easily recognisable – that created some humour in the company.
People who didn’t know where Hewlett Road was would say ‘ I know the one with the men painting the wall.’ And it was there for 20 years and never vandalised.
Unfortunately, that house has now been demolished. But street art, graffiti, and stencil art, is as alive as ever.
Having said that, Reg’s painting was done freehand, without the use of any stencils, and was a pretty risky business, as you can see from the precarious looking plank of wood on some scaffolding.
We didn’t use stencils at all in those days. I was asked to do the painting by the boss Ted Bardwell. I’d done the scenery for a local amateur dramatic society that his eldest son was a member of, and Ted Bardwell was impressed and asked me to do the sign next to his premises on Hewlett Road.
I like the ‘Banksy,’ though I think if it was really by Banksy he’d sign it. But whoever did it has plenty of talent.
When my family saw all the publicity about the picture they said I was doing it 64 years before him in the same street. I don’t know it if was my best piece but I never did anything bigger than that. I should think some older readers will probably still remember it.
After weeks of uncertainty and two-and-fro speculation as to where it might end up, Banksy’s, Mobile Lovers, has officially been claimed and offered to the struggling, Broad Plain Boys Club, in Bristol. A letter to the club owner, Dennis Stinchcombe, which is signed by the man himself, left no room for doubt.
In what can, and should be, seen as a bit of a triumph for the “little guy”, and something we felt pretty strongly about, we’re over the moon to see that Banksy gives his “blessing” for the club to take ownership of the piece.
Naturally, Dennis, who has dedicated 39 years of his life to the club, was over the moon.
Banksy has been a saviour of this club and I think he appreciates my tenacity. Now that we know that it is genuine and everything has been done right we can now look to what we can do with it. We will now look at the various valuers and auction houses to see about the best values for the piece. It is fantastic. This thing will safeguard this club for the rest of its days.
Have a read below, and don’t forget…
You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.
Writing graffiti is about the most honest way you can be an artist. It takes no money to do it, you don’t need an education to understand it and there’s no admission fee.
Guess who said that? That’s right, the man himself; Banksy.
And it’s his work and his liberal, transparent attitude that’s inspired so many over the years. From art lovers and artists alike; men, women and children; even those who have never picked up a pencil or a paint brush and yet turned them into artists themselves. Almost anyone can be, and more than likely has been, affected by Banksy’s work in some way.
Graffiti can be traced as far back as the Ancient Greek and Roman eras. Even the timeless artists of the Renaissance period; Michelangelo and Raphael, were known to have inscribed their names in the Domus Aurea during their days studying Ancient Roman decorative art.
Some might call that, “tagging”.
Fast-forward a few years (!) to present-day India and street art is just as pertinent there as it is in the UK or US.
One of the most prominent artists in South Asia goes by the name of Daku, meaning “a criminal activity involving robbery by groups of armed bandits”, and is rapidly becoming known for his political and provocative pieces; statements created especially to get the people talking.
I would not do graffiti in a metro station or a metro train as it is a symbol of progress. As graffiti is associated with vandalism, I would not want people looking at me/my work in a negative way.
His style is a direct product of his background in typography and his vision to cross boundaries by creating artwork that is accessible to all; regardless of language or social status. The more people that can read and understand the artwork, the more people will consider its meaning. Makes sense.
Daku’s work can be found all over the City of Rallies but, as with his UK counterpart, no one can actually put a face to his name.
One of his more thought-provoking pieces was a mural of a blindfolded protester, with painted text, Blind Nation, which was his two-cents on “the various protestors who joined Anna Hazare’s movement without understanding what the Lokpal Bill is about or how the system really works”.
Check out his first ever television interview on BBC Asia.
You can clearly see how he’s earned himself the title of, ‘India’s Banksy’. He’s not shy of a cutting comment or two either…
Once the world knows who Banksy is the GAME is OVER!!
Justin Glynn, a photographer from Weymouth, was inspired by Banksy’s latest overnight stencil sensation, dubbed; Mobile Lovers, after he and his wife were distracted by their respective mobile phones – during a romantic meal!
My wife and I went for dinner and when we were sat waiting for food, we didn’t talk, we sat there texting. Then I saw the Banksy street art and I thought ‘that’s us.’
Justin then got hold of two of his local mates, David Wiltshire and Rhona Coombs, in an effort to recreate the now world famous piece.
When Justin asked if we could take part I thought ‘why not?’. Rhona and I met via Tinder and we’ve been together since December. It’s funny because Justin is one of those people that without the likes of Facebook, I probably wouldn’t be in touch with any more.
I suppose it is ironic Rhona and I met on social media. We quite often comment when we see couples who are on their phones like that. But then if it wasn’t for our phones, we wouldn’t have met.
Justin went on to say…
I have become more aware and more conscious of what I’m doing. Being self-employed, social media are really important tools for me – I’m always on my phone. But now when I’m out with my wife I give her my full attention.
Arguably, one of the most harrowing images of Banksy’s Better Out Than In tour back in October last year, Sirens of the Lambs, (yeah, the one where a load of stuffed animals were screaming for help as they were being carted off to the slaughterhouse in NYC), has reappeared as a newly unveiled piece on the Banksy website.
Meat Truck, as it is also known, is a pretty dark dig at the meat industry as a whole and looks like it might be a hot topic for future Banksy artwork.
Who knows… it might appear in a town near you very soon! Keep your eyes peeled.
If you missed the video posted during our daily update of his month-long residency, then check it out below.
You’ll see what we mean by, “harrowing”.
Don’t forget though; a man named Brian Conley once said, … “It’s a puppet!”
Ever since the now world-famous ‘mobile lovers’ mural appeared on a wall near the Broad Plain Boys’ Club in Bristol, ownership of the piece (given that it could have fetched around £1 million – when the club only needed £100k to survive) has been a red hot subject on the graffiti scene. And that’s us playing it down.
The Bristol Post conducted a 24-hour online poll into the matter which, interestingly, resulted in an almost straight-down-the-middle split with one half of the 5000-strong voters pledging their allegiance to the struggling Boys’ club and stating that it should be returned to them, with the other lot saying it should be kept in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Usually, we’re pretty firm on our views of any old “Joe Bloggs” taking a pneumatic to a Banksy piece just to fill his own pockets, but in this case, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a gift to the youth club from Banksy himself in attempt to save it from closure.
It’s a difficult one and we really can see both sides of the argument.
But, in true political fashion, the mayor of Bristol stuck his oar in, saying the mural was left on the wall of a council building and is therefore council property.
Leave off, you square!
Anyway, Dennis has stood his ground. And rightly so, we think!
I have spoken to a lot of people about this and all of them were saying, at the end of the day, as much as it would be nice to keep it for the city, it is about doing the most good for Bristol. And the best it can do is to help keep youth projects like us open.
It is an awful pity that we are in this Catch-22 situation. If Banksy just turned around and said it was for the museum I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. He is the only one who could settle it. Unless a significant poll of people in Bristol could decide.
It has given us incredible publicity for our appeal and over 10,000 people saw it on the first weekend in the museum. Banksy has also had a lot of press so it has been good for everyone.
On the other hand, Mayor Ferguson seems to be on a bit of a charm offensive.
“WHAT!? A POLITICIAN ON A CHARM OFFENSIVE!? SURELY NOT!”, we hear you cry.
As mayor I am not the slightest bit possessive about Mobile Lovers but am sure that we did the right thing by putting it on view. One way or another it should stay in Bristol, and it would be good if it could continue to benefit the boys’ club.
Street art really belongs on the street although, ironically, Banksy’s global notoriety makes this difficult.
Banksy’s team has been contacted by the Bristol Post but they are yet to receive a response…
And so, it looks like Banksy’s vote may now be the only one that counts.
The Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, has announced that one of the latest Banksy murals, dubbed, Mobile Lovers, would be staying put in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery for the foreseeable whilst suggestions from the public mount on where its long-term home should be.
Having originally been placed near the struggling Broad Plain Boys’ Club in Bristol, presumably by Banksy himself, the owner, Dennis Stinchcombe, had removed the mural in the hope of selling it at auction in an attempt to secure the future of the club. A mere £100,000 was needed in order to do so but Dennis had quickly received two offers for the piece in excess of £1 million.
Imagine what that could have done for the Riverside Youth Project; a voluntary organisation and a registered charity (301684), including a new website!
Unfortunately, the Mayor wasn’t feeling very charitable himself having instructed authorities to contact Dennis, asking him to hand over the artwork, which he did, on Wednesday night. The Police then stored it at an undisclosed location before transferring it to Bristol Museum.
Like Dennis had a choice…
Mayor Ferguson said:
The piece will stay in the museum over the Easter weekend. It may then have to come down for conservation work, since it has been outside and we want to make sure there’s nothing on it to damage it. Its future will be decided by the people of Bristol.
We have got a collection box for the boys’ club in front of it, and I am also asking people to leave suggestions in there about where it should go permanently. Dennis at the club has been very co-operative about the move.
I’m delighted that Dennis, who is a good man, has made a tough judgement call and has turned over the artwork to us, via the police.
No-one’s the bad guy here; we simply need to buy time to establish where ownership lies, what Banksy’s intentions might be, if we were to get some signals, and how best we can move forward. I have established with our legal and museum services that we can move ahead on this basis so that, hopefully, it will be on show for people to enjoy at the city museum over the Easter weekend.
I’m also asking if Banksy could provide a limited-edition print which could be sold in aid of the club.
It’s rare for Banksy to step forward vocally but we’d love it if he could somehow show his support for the youth club by letting everyone know what his initial intentions were, providing it was of course meant that way.
What do you think? Should it have been left in the hands of the youth club or handed over to the Museum?
Banksy T-shirts is celebrating the infamous street artists new work in Bristol by releasing this very special new t-shirt.
Each t-shirt will be screen printed onto our normal super soft 100% organic t-shirts. Each t-shirt will have a special neck line print to show its a limited edition. And every t-shirt will be sent out accompanied with 2 souvenir postcards of the images that appeared on Banksy’s official website last week.
The t-shirts will be available to all our Facebook followers and email subscribers first.They will be up for pre-sale by the end of the week.
A spokesman said it had contacted the artist to clarify his intentions.
‘Starting to warp’
But he added, as of Tuesday morning, the local authority had not heard back from Banksy.
Ray Barnett, who is head of collections at the museum, said about 3,000 people a day had been in over the holiday weekend “which is quite a respectable number” and up 4,000 from what they would usually expect.
“We haven’t had to queue people but it’s been busy, a lot of people have wanted to take photographs of it. It hasn’t been massive, but it’s been popular,” he said.
“[As to how long it stays] it’s with the mayor to decide how he wants to take that forward.
“The base is quite damp so it is starting to warp so we might have to take it down to stop that happening to
The struggling boys’ club had wanted to auction Mobile Lovers to raise money to help it survive but mayor George Ferguson said he believed “it belonged to the city”.
A collection box has been placed next to the exhibit with a sign that Mr Ferguson is asking people to consider making a donation to the club and also asking Bristolians for their thoughts about the future of Mobile Lovers.
After what seemed to be a bit of a brief graffiti drought, Banksy shot straight back into the media spotlight overnight with two new pieces that quickly became subjects of much debate and controversy.
That’s the Banksy we know and love!
We posted last week about the GCHQ mural with one art expert saying that he was “70% to 80%” certain that it was by the man himself, whilst others remained sceptical. We’ve got to say, it certainly looks like his style and is most definitely his taste.
Check out this time-lapse video, posted by the Gloucestershire Echo taken over a single 40-minute period. Families posed together, teenagers took selfies, and some dressed up in trenchcoats and sunglasses to be photographed next to the artwork which has attracted attention from around the world.
The next day, an image dubbed, Mobile Lovers, appeared to have been pre-claimed by the elusive street artist on his site, sparking a street-by-street hunt for the piece with the general public being well aware of what this might mean for them and their local area, should it be found attached to a local landmark. Previous Banksy pieces have been sold at auction for some serious mulah!
Having been placed near to the Broad Plain Boys’ Club in Bristol, which is known in the area as being underfunded, club owner, Dennis Stinchcombe, took it upon himself to remove the mural. He quickly jumped to his defence claiming that his intervention could raise the £100,000 needed to save the youth club.
Naturally, this caused a bit of a reaction from the likes of Bristol’s mayor, George Ferguson, who said the action was “against the spirit of Banksy and street art” and requested that Stinchcombe put the mural back where it belongs.
But you can’t help but think that it’s been placed there by Banksy for that exact reason; to save the struggling youth club. After all, he’s been known to step in when needed.
The phrase, “actions speak louder than words”, comes to mind.
I’ve learned from experience that a painting isn’t finished when you put down your brush – that’s when it starts. The public reaction is what supplies meaning and value. Art comes alive in the arguments you have about it.
That’s not all. There are two other pieces in Stroud & Bedminster with the latter raising questions on authenticity; it just doesn’t look right… a little too obvious maybe, but the former looking pretty promising based on his previous rat-inspired pieces.
We expect to see a few more over the coming weeks and will do our best to keep you updated.
An extremely rare hand-painted Banksy piece has surfaced in London.
The touching and thought-provoking image, entitled, Daddy’s Back, is from one of his 2003 shows and is thought to have been amongst a private collection.
There’s good news for fans though as it is now available to buy through a new concept called My Art Invest, which divides artwork into shares making investing in art possible for millions of people for the first time.
Bash Wheatley, the company’s Urban Art Director, said:
As an artist who predominately works with stencils, an original hand-painted piece of work by Banksy only comes around once every couple of years. It is even more exciting for us to have this work on the eve of My Art Invest’s launch. I am sure that at £350 a share, the public will see this as an excellent investment opportunity and a chance to own a very rare and unique piece of street art by one of the leading contemporary artists of our generation.
Backers who buy a quarter of the shares in any artwork could hang their chosen piece at home for a quarter of the year. Magic!
Founding Director Tom-David Bastok, said:
We are thrilled to have opened the gallery in the UK after such tremendous success in France, launching the 230 square metre space in Shoreditch, where an exhibition of around 30 artworks will rotate each month. We look forward to welcoming anyone with an interest in what we are doing to our new gallery.
My Art Invest was created with the vision of making buying art something that isn’t reserved for the financial elite. Through our unique trading platform we hope to change the way that people engage with art by giving them the freedom to take ownership over works that they enjoy without needing to spend their entire life savings.
Check out the site here and follow them on twitter for the latest updates.
Is Banksy back at it? We hope so because this one is wicked!
Having unveiled what appears to be his latest creation, Banksy tackles the ever-present and notoriously unpopular subject of government surveillance.
The new mural depicts three 50s-esque agents, in brown trenches and trilby‘s, tapping into public conversations in a phone box.
In true spy style, the piece appeared in the cover of night (with residents having spotted a group of men packing away tarpaulin at 7.30am Sunday before driving off in a van), and was spotted on a Cheltenham street, not far from GCHQ – the UK’s surveillance network base.
It’s pretty good. It livens the street up a bit. There have been a lot of people about today looking at it. My daughter Sophie thinks it’s Banksy, but I’ve been speaking to different people outside and some agree, some don’t.
It’s yet to be claimed by Banksy officially Streetart News seem to think it’s his.
They even went as far as to say that Banksy had shown up at the break of dawn with a maintenance van and covered all the sides with tarpaulin before creating the piece. The site described it as “quite a strong statement against the recent privacy issues we experienced this past year with the NSA and such”.
Banksy’s reps have confirmed and revealed the that new Kissing Coppers on the side of the Astoria Theatre in Brighton is actually a fake.
Appearing on April Fools Day – three days after same sex marriage was legalised in the UK – speculation mounted fairly quickly and even No Walls Gallery director, James Woodward, thought it was the real thing, saying the new artwork has all the hallmarks of an original.
The placement and execution are both right and the timing with same sex marriages legalised in the UK just the other day all point to it being his. It all feels very Banksy like.
World renowned as one of Banksy’s most famous murals, the original was sold to an anonymous buyer in Miami for for $575,000 (£345,000) after being removed from the wall of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street near Brighton city centre in 2004.
A while back, we wrote about the old water tank in LA that was a part of a Banksy hit during the Oscars back in 2011. He sprayed, ‘THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT’, on it. And he had a point too!
Naturally, the news spread like wildfire, and a consortium of art dealers soon stepped in to repossess the water tank for auction. All of this was happening without anyone knowing of what, or who, was inside. Tachowa Covington, a long-term vagrant and former street performer, had been living inside the disused tank for seven years.
In an empathetic twist, Banksy made his move and gave Covington money enough to rent an apartment for a year in an attempt to help him get back on his feet.
Now, three years on, Tom Wainwright’s wildly successful play, originally commissioned by Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres, was a sell out at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is now on at Arcola Theatre as part of a national tour.
Starring Gary Beadle – best known as Eastenders’ Paul Trueman as well as acclaimed roles in the Royal Court’s Sucker Punch and Chichester Festival Theatre’s Blue Remembered Hills – this is a story about creating something from nothing and then having it taken away, in the name of art.
A colourful and compelling performance by Beadle and a spunky, clever script that weaves poetry and street swagger from Tom Wainwright – The Stage
A vital piece of 21st century drama, about who gets to hold the camera, to define what is art, and to shape the stories we hear; and whose life finally counts. – The Scotsman
One minute he has the audience belly-laughing, with a deft twist seconds later we’re silenced as tears stream down his face. – The Big Issue
Banksy — The Room In The Elephant continues at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston until 26 April Mon-Fri at 8pm, Saturdays at 3 and 8pm. Tickets from £10!
Whichever adjective you might use to describe these incredible works of street art would probably fit perfectly in its own way.
Depaul UK, the youth and homelessness charity, has enlisted a group of graffiti artists to create street art that tells young people’s stories, with the aim of supporting its work with young people who have become homeless or are at risk from becoming homeless.
The collaboration is part of a campaign for the charity by Publicis called “Don’t Let Their Stories End on The Streets”.
Young homeless people were interviewed and their real life stories were used to inspire the works, which are sited in Dalston and Shoreditch in East London.
A truly worthy cause and something we should all think about a lot more.
Check out the full press release on the Depaul website.