WILL BANKSY BE ERASED?
The location still has to be revealed, but Banksy has made his Olympic mark. The secretive artist has stirred up discussion worldwide about the removal of graffiti work in London and is daring Olympics city authorities threatening to erase street art.
Banksy’s two new stencil pieces - a missile image and a pole-vaulter - appeared on his website after graffiti artist Darren Cullen was arrested last week, despite working with official Olympic sponsor adidas.
Banksy is known for clashes with government officials who label graffiti as vandalism. Diane Shakespeare from Keep Britain Tidy, was once quoted as saying: “We are concerned that Banksy’s street art glorifies what is essentially vandalism.” In 2009 Hackney council officials painted over a Banksy cartoon of the royal family waving from a balcony, after it had been left untouched on a house in Stoke Newington for eight years. East London has become an international mecca for street art, and graffity works are an essential part of its rough-around-the-edges culture.
Banksy (born 1973-1975, depending on varying reports about his identity) was part of the Bristol underground scene with Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D of Massive Attack. The list of his most expensive artwork is led by “Keep it Spotless”, a defaced Hirst made in 2007 and sold during a Sotheby’s Charity auction in New York in December 2008 for a record price of $1.87 million. A very tidy sum.