Ok! I had to do a blog post for this one as I feel slightly guilty!
I was in London painting a wall for Sensepost and Secure Data. I had to stay overnight so I was in my dodgy hotel, flicking through Facebook while drinking rose wine from the bottle and eating hot kebab from a plastic bag in my dodgy hotel (I have a glamorous life)
I found my newsfeed inundated by the same pictures of the brand new Banksy piece, on a wall in Folkestone.
The piece was awesome, as usual. I’m a fan of his work.
It featured an old lady looking closely at a piece of art on a museum/ gallery plinth, except the art had been buffed. (Ironic really as he did two in Kent and one was buffed by the council who didn’t understand the art…. or realise its worth). Buffing is a common problem Street/ Graffiti Artists have.
Personally, when I paint a piece on a wall, it is a piece of art. I put as much effort into the wall art as I would a canvas or sketch, like most artists I know, yet some art gets buffed along the way by people who don’t see it as art. Some people see everything that is created with a spray can as bad and worthless which is why I find it hilarious when they buff a Banksy then realise its worth afterwards. Not in a spiteful way against the artist, I just imagine the people grumbling as they paint over the art. I can hear them mumbling under their breath that:
“Some kid has gone and f”*king painted our wall, Rita.”
“Its alright though, I’ve cleaned that shit off now!……. What?”
“Its a Whosey??”
“Who’s he? He still shouldn’t be putting this shit on our wall!!!”
“Its worth what???”
Anyway, this one had dodged being painted over and had already received its usual personalised Perspex cover to protect the stencil while the owner found a company to remove the section of wall to sell. It seemed to me that everyone in the world had seen it, copied the original photo and uploaded it to their own piece of Social Media.
When I got home I thought it might be fun to computer enhance the photo with one of my skulls and upload it to my Social Media claiming it was a collaboration between Banksy and myself. I assumed everyone had seen the new Banksy on the news, papers and every other outlet, so I figured people would laugh and say “You wish.”
It was a terrible Photoshop job done very quickly. The skull was taken from a quick piece with Squirl at the Super Crew Paint Jam, in Seven Sisters, months before and even had bricks while the original Banksy art was on a flat wall.
I was just in a hurry to get it done and uploaded for fun, before we went on Holiday.
It was only when people started to share the ‘Collab’ and congratulate me on a job well done that I realised that a lot of people weren’t aware of the new Banksy art and thought the collaboration was real.
I even received emails from concerned people thinking that Banksy had buffed my skull out of the image to claim all the glory. Ha!
I came clean as soon as I realised but by this time it had been shared several times.
Its been a few weeks now and apparently the original stencil has received an unwanted addition in the form of a cock (although I haven’t read the news article).
I don’t get how they could have added a cock if the owner of the house had already put Perspex on the art.
I guess that’s the nature of Graffiti and Street Art. That is the usual natural outcome for a piece of art created in a public space. It gets buffed, tagged, covered by new art or added to.
We are all aware of the possible outcomes before painting the streets. If we wanted the pretty pictures to last forever we would have put them on a canvas….. or behind Perspex.
I just hope it was Banksy who painted the cock. Fed up with people seeing his work as nothing but dollar signs.