Banksy Posters - Snapshots of Vanishing Art

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					Banksy Posters - Snapshots of Vanishing Art
Fans of Banksy Graffiti are in a strange position. If you don't live in
London or any of the various International Cities where he paints his
works, you're not likely to see them. Even if you do happen to live in
the City, you have to be quick or by the time you reach a new piece of
Banksy Art it is more often than not covered in Plexiglas or has been
chipped away and flogged on eBay.
Whilst it's understandable, if not mercenary, for people to be removing
Banksy Art, I take more exception with those who chase their fifteen
seconds of fame by defacing his stencils. A recent example of this was a
piece of Banksy Graffiti that the he painted in New Orleans to
commemorate the devastation of Hurricane Katrina (and perhaps a timely
reminder of the lack of response from the Government just before the
national election!). One of the stencils was of a boy swinging on a
lifesaver and this has now been blotted out with red paint. You could
perhaps understand a kid doing this, but given the placement and height
of the Graffiti, it would seem to be someone more 'mature'. I suppose by
defacing a piece of art, they know it will be reported and ergo they have
their little piece of infamy. The same thing happened in London earlier
this year when two of the more prominent pieces were destroyed within
days; part roller-painted out, with the words "All the best" painted over
them. There is speculation by Banksy Posters on forums that this was
actually done by the Artist himself, in answer to the wholesale removal
of his public works that were placed on eBay at extortionate prices.
There was a time, when Banksy works in Bristol and London were left up
and you could go and view them on the walls and in the Street, the very
places where they were intended to be seen. Now it seems that with the
press attention and the dislike in some quarters of the Artist due to his
perceived commercialisation, new works are fleeting, temporary things.
Graffiti by its very nature is of course temporary, but this isn't just
tags and scrawls, Banksy's work is Art. He comments on society and
issues. His work, more often then not, is brilliantly situated and
executed and is a stark commentary on our age and contrasts the
relentless advertising which bombards us as soon as we leave our homes.
Others modern Artists are lauded in galleries and whilst there have been
a few exhibitions of Banksy's work, they are from private collections,
art that the public no longer has access to, pieces that were removed or
taken from the streets, Banksy's gallery of choice. Whilst I can see this
as the nature of street art, a part of me mourns the fact that soon the
only records left will be Banksy Posters and Prints.
Jonathan Childermass
Fan and Collector of Banksy Posters and Prints

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