An mural by UK street artist Banksy, that had been residing on the side of a building in North London, was recently extracted from the wall, and listed for auction in the US. The work is expected to sell for around US$500,000 but I doubt that Banksy will see a single cent of whatever proceeds the artwork realises.
The piece in question is titled “Slave Labour,” and first appeared on the side of a discount store in North London in May 2012. CNN reports that many residents grew quite fond of the piece and the attention it gave the neighborhood. Unfortunately for those residents, the piece was abruptly cut out of the wall last week. News soon emerged that the owner of the building had ordered the extraction in order to “preserve” the work. Well, “preserve” is apparently synonymous with “profit off” in the owner’s mind: “Slave Labour” has turned up in the catalog of an auction house in Miami, and will be sold this Saturday in the “Modern, Contemporary and Street Art” collection for an estimated $500,000 to $700,000.
It seems amazing to me, by the way, that given the degree of surveillance in public places, where much of Banksy’s work appears, that his, or her, identity still remains a mystery, even if some people feel they know who the elusive artist is.
Footage of “Home” – by US based Australian artist Kid Zoom, aka Ian Strange – one of the features of the Outpost Project street art show that took place on Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour, late last year.
Taggr is a smartphone app – which is only available for iPhone at the moment – that lets people upload images of street art in Sydney and Melbourne, and then geo-tag it so others can find and view the work.
Cockatoo Island, located in the heart of Sydney’s harbour, plays host to the Outpost Project, an exhibition of work by over 150 Australian and international street artists, which opens on Friday, 4 November, 2011, and runs until Sunday, 11 December.
In the past the island has housed a penal colony, an industrial school, and until 1992 was also a shipbuilding yard, all of which provide a varied abundance of spaces and work surfaces for the exhibiting artists to use as temporary canvases.
Artists taking part include Anthony Lister (below), Kid Zoom, Max Berry (above), Shida, DMOTE, Meggs, Beastman, Ha Ha, and Vexta, to name but a few. Also on offer is a showing of a private collection of works by Banksy, and Pastemodernism 3, curated by Ben Frost.
The only cost is the price of a ferry ticket to Cockatoo Island, entry to the exhibition itself is free. Yesterday I was invited along for a preview of the show, preparations for which are still very much in progress, and caught a mere glimpse of what is on offer.
UK graffiti and street artist D*Face and friends have found a better way to repaint the swimming pool… using skateboards fitted with remotely controlled spray cans that dispense paint as and when the time is right.
The poem, Eurydice, is one of the longest pieces of public art in the capital. It was inscribed along a concrete tunnel connecting Waterloo station with the Imax cinema and the South Bank 10 years ago. It was destroyed last autumn – a fortnight after Time Out magazine listed it as one of London’s best pieces of secret art – when contractors for Network Rail painted over it, claiming to be cleaning up the tunnel.
I was 16 years old when I first trespassed onto some railway tracks and wrote the initials of the graffiti crew (of which I was the only member) on a wall. Afterwards the most incredible thing happened – absolutely nothing. No dog chased me, no thunderbolt from God shut down to punish me, and my mum didn’t even notice I’d been gone. That was the night I realized you could get away with it.
Banksy’s skill, or might that be fortune, in avoiding detection on that first sortie does beg the question though, what might have happened had he have been caught?