BANKSY’S Vanishing Art…!

Posted: May 1, 2014 in (All Things) CULTURE, (Politics) CURRENT AFFAIRS
Tags: , , , , ,

banksy-mobilelovers

So not for for the first time a piece of art by the world’s most immaculate and legitimized (ninja) vandal is causing minor controversy and dividing opinion. And not for the first time his work has disappeared from the scene of the crime, hijacked by not-so-artistic forces…

Bansky’s latest work, a painting called Mobile Lovers on the exterior of a youth club in Bristol, has been removed by Dennis Stinchcombe MBE who plans to sell the piece to raise funds for the struggling youth project. Stinchcombe has been receiving death threats for his actions.

The notorious street artist’s latest officially-confirmed piece, showing two lovers embracing while checking their mobiles, was attached to a plank of wood screwed to a wall in Clement Street in Bristol and first seen last Monday. Stinchcombe removed the piece using a crowbar on Tuesday afternoon. Members of the public hoping to see the piece were faced only with an empty doorway and told to return to the youth club to view the work – donations being optional.

Stinchcombe, who eventually intends to sell Mobile Lovers to raise funds for the financially struggling youth project, has revealed he has been receiving death threats over his actions. Mr Stinchcombe has made the point that Banksy did his work on a removable piece of wood, thus possibly indicating he wanted it to be removed to raise money for the failing youth centre. While that sounds more like an afterthought justification than anything, it’s possible that’s true.

The artist known as Banksy is used to his work being misappropriated, however; for one thing, the controversy over his Slave Labour mural in Wood Green last year, which was seen briefly by members of the public and then disappeared only to show up in an art auction in Miami, going on sale for an insane price. That was something very different to what’s happening in Bristol, certainly in terms of the kind of money being talked about.

Banksy, Poundland, Wood Green


However, you’d suspect Banksy himself is happy with his art causing controversy and getting publicity and doesn’t particularly care what Mr Stinchcombe is doing, whether it’s seen immediately or more broadly seen later on after a lot of publicity (and even now it’s being seen in photographs on-line and in papers, so that’s still visual exposure for the time being).

It raises the question of who public works of art belong to; after all, Banksy’s work is technically vandalism, even it happens to be very artistic and broadly legitmised vandalism that everyone admires.

But essentially once the artist completes his work on property he doesn’t own, he has no claim to it anymore and presumably doesn’t want any claim to it anymore; his trip is the process of the art itself and whatever it’s trying to express.

Once it belongs to the world, it also belongs to the world’s nature, whether that nature is cynical or well-meaning. Though admittedly it is dispiriting that the work of an artist intended to be free for all to appreciate frequently gets hijacked by people with other agendas where money, as per human nature, has to come into it.

Still it’s at least better that a local youth club might derive benefit from the work than some fucking Miami Art Gallery. And again, that might’ve been the artist’s intention in the first place.

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