Saturday, June 03, 2006

Banksy!

I was walking along Tottenham Court Road yesterday (on my way back to work from Virgin Megastore - it's the little details that make a great story) and I saw something which made me very happy indeed. I saw this:

It was a Banksy. Banksy is a graffiti artist who leaves stuff like this all around London (and not just London. He's been all over the place. He's done some amazing stuff on the Segregation Wall in Palestine).

I've been a big fan since Amy introduced me to his work a few months back. We met up one evening and went for a walk around London. She was telling me about this graffiti artist who goes around leaving political messages and stuff all over the place. It sounded mildly interesting. We were passing the London Eye when Amy suddenly spotted a splurge of white paint on the ground that trailed off into the distance. Amy insisted that this was a treasure trail leading to a Banksy masterpiece and excitedly ran off after it dragging me with her. I would have shared a smidgeon of her enthusiasm if the trail wasn't quite clearly the result of an idiot with a leaking pot of paint. But still we followed this trail for about 5-10 minutes along the Thames until the idiots paint pot ran out of paint and the trail faded away to nothing (I imagined the idiot feeling quite pleased with himself at this point as everything was feeling much lighter which could only mean that he was getting stronger). With a smug look on my face I said something along the lines of "Oh surprise surprise. It's led us nowhere. Can we please get back to wandering aimlessly around London? We've already lost valuable time"

"No!" insisted Amy "it has to be around here somewhere". I was starting to think Amy might be the idiot with the paint (or at least intellectually related with him in some way). I started to walk off with a kind of patronising saunter that I've perfected over the years. Suddenly, I hear Amy shout from behind me and I turned round to see her crouched down in front of a painting on the wall of two rats with one strapping a mortar onto the back of the other. Above it was the artist's signature "BANKSY". I know it doesn't sound all that much but I thought it was awesome.

And I've been hooked ever since. You should check it out. He's got a book of his work called Banksy: Wall and Piece and if you want to see more of his stuff then you can check it out here.

(Actually I've just logged onto his website and found that the above piece is on the home page - although I think my photo is better)

8 comments:

Tom Underwood said...

Hi Glynn,
You found me! Hurrah! Of course I remember you, how could I forget! Hope your doing well? Great blog, loved the Banksy link which I'm going to put on my blog too.
Tom.
PS. Who's Matt White? You said you saw me on his blog roll?

Gallahan said...

you forgot to mention the hair flicking and smiling, coming down the stairs...

I go away for a week and it all happens here!
I think getting a reply to a letter in the Metro is reasonably eventful.
And who would have thought that you had so many friends to come out of the woodwork?!
I met a Glyn(n) Harri(e)s in Scotland but I forgot to ask him how he spelt his name.

And there ends my update.

Lard said...

Bansky helped me be the vandal I am today. I used to enjoy painting, seeing his work means I now have a carry case with 12 cans, 3 scalpels and some duct tape - and a shed full of stencils - none of them even close to his genius mind.

Ben said...

Banksy is a personal hero of mine, I think hes a seriously profound prophetic voice.

did you know that if you use chalk or spray chalk, you are in fact not breaking any laws when doing graffiti...?

Gallahan said...

there's someone decorating the town of ipswich at the moment banksy style. not as good as the man but still like looking out for them.

Philip Atley said...

As I am sure many will have seen, the piece on Tottenham Court has been cut out of the kiosk. The owner, Sam, sold it for £5'000 today. Recently 120cm x 120cm Banksy canvas' have been selling for £45'000. Considering that this piece is probably 4 or 5 times the size and more authentic as a 'street' rather than 'studio' piece I should think that we are talking big money. Someone is kicking themselves.

P.S. I have a vested interest, Sam turned me down for £3'250 which was all I could get together.

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