The Banksy Expedition part 2
Yesterday I gave you part 1 of my Banksy hunting through London, now I give you part deux.
This is his Falling Shopper piece in Mayfair. BUY MORE STUFF. HURRY! EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT. PLEASE CONTINUE SHOPPING.
A dude saw me staring upwards, looked up and saw the Banksy, then proceeded to tell me how he works on that street, walks by everyday, and never noticed it. I hear that same line a lot. People, when walking down the street, are so zoned, in their own world, they never notice their own surroundings! People are always amazed how much street art I find, and that’s because I’m keeping my eyes open. Pay attention to your cities, people, there is so much on offer!
Since he was yapping with me, I made him take my photo.
This is a play on the famous graffiti originally found in New York shitty that read, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
Seeing as how graffiti is illegal, you know the kind of change it can precipitate.
Banksy Le Rat
Whatever, taking photos of yourself is stupid anyway.
This is an old Banksy on the Essex road. Even though its behind plexiglass, it has still been vandalized.
it depicts school children, hands on hearts, raising a tesco bag up a flagpole. In Tesco we trust. For those of you outside the UK, Tesco is a huge grocery store chain here that has been criticized for monitoring the shopping habits of its customers, selling that information without your consent, etc. When I lived in London last time, I bought a freeview cable box at Tesco to get extra tv channels, and used my Tesco club points card. A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from the tv licence office (you’re not allowed to watch tv without paying for a licence here) saying that there was no licence in my name so what was I doing with a freeview box. SNEAKY FUCKERS.
As you can see, the original Tesco bag has been painted over with a team Robbo tag. Robbo and Banksy have been having turf wars for years now, which was documented in this documentary which you can watch here. I will go into more about Robbo in a bit.
This is another old Banksy I found in Bermondsey which has been left untagged behind the plexiglass.
When I was photographing this though, I was in a particularly bad mood because I had just come from Turnpike Lane where a Banksy was located on the side of a Poundland. I arrived perhaps only ONE HOUR after it had been painted over! The paint was still fucking wet! I tried wiping it off with my hands, then with some scrap paper and plastic bags, but then gave up. So I stormed into the Poundland and demanded to know why they painted over the Banksy. I was in a huge huff. “You know it’s worth millions of pounds, right!?” I barked at them. They insisted they hadn’t painted over it, that it must have been someone else. But the paint was the EXACT SAME COLOUR as their wall! What a manufactured lie. I stormed out of there in a massive huff like a moody cow. But other people in the community, who saw me trying to wipe off the paint, said they thought it was a shame it was painted over. Think of the community Poundland! I literally had half a mind to buy paint remover and a brush from Poundland and go do the community’s bidding…. But really I only thought of that when I was already back on the tube speeding back into central London to get to this next piece….so there you go.
I like to think this is a self portrait of Banksy, and he’s walking his dog fashioned as a tribute to Keith Harring (the style employed to create that dog is awfully reminiscent of the late great Keith Harring).
Then, I was inside the Groucho club in Soho having lunch with my British husband Pete (back off bitches, he’s mine. MINE!), when he pointed out in the frame one of Banksy’s counterfeit £10 notes featuring a bored Princess Diana instead of the Queen!
If you saw Exit Through The Gift Shop, you’ll remember that scene where Banksy retells the story of printing and using these notes. Scandalous!
And now, back to Robbo. So this mural underneath Camden Lock has a lot of significance, because originally Robbo’s tag sat here unblemished for 25 years…. Until Banksy went over it. A turf war erupted back and forth. Then sadly last year Robbo suffered a massive brain injury after a all, and has been in an induced coma ever since. So this spot has been fashioned into a “memorial” of sorts to Robbo…which was instigated by Banksy after he heard the news, trying to make peace.
Note the spraycan with an eternal flame, the crown to signify King Robbo, and the number 25.