Banksy is the world’s most famous street artist, but his fame can take its toll on his public works, as has become more evident over the past month. Last week, a homeowner ripped off one of his wall paintings from the side of a building in England. Prior to that, actor Christopher Walken painted an original Banksy for a scene on the TV show he’s now playing, The outlaws.
After Banksy confirmed that a mural on the side of an electrical store was one of his authentic pieces, the owner had the section of the wall carefully removed with the mural – a painting of a child holding a crowbar. The owner seemed to know that Banksy’s work regularly sells for huge sums and allegedly attempted to sell the building for a higher price. It was on the market for $ 402,000 before Banksy painted on it. The owner subsequently put it up for sale for $ 671,000.
“If it’s taken out to be displayed in a more visible part of town in an artistic context, then it’s lovely,” said Miles Barry, chairman of British artists’ advocacy group Easterly Artists. BBC.
But he noted that if the owner did this just to auction the work, it would be “a great shame.” He continued, “It’s not just about the paint on the wallâ¦ There is a social commentary out there on the resources.”
This is not the first time that something like this has happened. Earlier this year, an owner in Nottingham, England removed a mural of a girl playing with a tire and quickly sold it to an art gallery in Essex for six figures.
At least those works are still there. The same could not be said of the one who appeared in The outlaws.
On the show, Walken painted over a Banksy painting of a rat. The character played by Walken, a man living in Bristol named Frank, is forced to do community service in the city as punishment for some minor infractions. His supervisor assigns him to paint over graffiti, including a priceless Banksy original.
Even if The outlaws is fictional, the Banksy was the real deal, according to an interview with a spokesperson for the show with the BBC. Predictably enough, however, this scene was a farce. Banksy had given the showrunners permission to paint on his work.