I was charmed to see that Banksy graced our London neighborhood with his presence recently. The mystery artist left behind this stencil:
To their credit, the Camden city council did not paint over the Banksy stencil, but instead placed a protective plastic covering over it.
Not bad for a quiet neighborhood of stately Victorian homes… East London may be considered trendier, but none of the Banksy paintings in East London were protected and so they have been lost to the elements, development and graffiti. And the stodgy Westminster borough painted over their “graffiti” from Banksy.
I have to go and check it out! I’m walking distance from there.
What’s interesting is that often times street art has a multitude of layers, playing off of the notion that ‘high’ art is inaccessible thus making poignant pieces available to the eye of any passer-by is foremost in the intent (of street art). But what I find so funny is that most street artists are rarely relevant to that passer-by and likewise their art and it’s message are lost on a majority of the intended audience. But since Banksy has achieved ‘commercial’ success his works are now protected, yet as he romped the streets as a 20-something, those works have eroded. And so it leads me to wonder, “Can we only value something when a select (possible arbitrary) few have designated that something as worthy of value?” And similarly does street art actually reinforce those artificial walls it had meant to tear down?
Nonetheless, what a great find!
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