You Can’t Bank Banksy
A gallery in Miami is today selling a piece of Banksy‘s work at auction, hoping to fetch $500,000. It was earlier this month removed from outside a Poundland store in London. Which is fair enough, the owner is allowed to do as they please with the wall.
I am conflicted as to how I feel about this issue, on one level street art shouldn’t really be auctioned, by placing the work in a gallery, the work already takes on a new context. It has the form of street art, but the context and location have now changed, which are a part of what is the very definition of street art.
This is just another case of making money from the Banksy name, of course he/she will never make a profit, unless lawyers get in involved. It’s the act of the removing the work in such a direct, that shows no respect for the work or the artist. Will this be the way forward, will owners of walls that are graced with Banksy’s imprint decide to remove and sell that bit of wall? The work no longer carries half its power, becoming a sculpture removed from its site, that gave it life. Of course this can not apply to some works which are too large to be easily removed in tact for sale. It’s the smaller pieces that are more at risk of this act. If this is to become the norm in street art, the locations of work will change, making it harder to remove the piece by such force. Will the pieces become more transient, only on a wall for a few hours before they are removed again by the walls owner or the artist themselves? Will it force the artist to consider a new form of work.
- Banksy mural appears at US auction (bbc.co.uk)
- A Defense of Banksy (abetterwhirlpool.wordpress.com)
- Banksy mural mystery deepens as it heads for sale in Miami (guardian.co.uk)
- Banksy mural taken from Wood Green Poundland appears for auction in US for £450,000 (standard.co.uk)
- Banksy Mural Removed From London Reappears In Miami Auction (newsy.com)
- VIDEO: Anger over missing Banksy artwork (bbc.co.uk)
- Anger as ‘Poundland Banksy’ removed from north London and put up for auction in US for £450,000 (metro.co.uk)