I got an email yesterday morning from Jerry (thanks!!) letting me know that since I had photographed the Banksy piece in B’ham/Ensley that it had been spraypainted over – as in, that very night.
I was going to drive all the way back over to see what had happened in person but then found out this morning that the *entire wall section has been removed* as of mid-afternoon yesterday.
Sure enough – it is gone:
Somebody came and took that entire section of paneling off the building. The painting was on three panels.
Av told me about an article in the B’ham News this morning. Here are some short sections:
“It’s a cultural phenomenon,” Baulos said. (Baulos is an art professor at UAB) “A lot of graffiti artists have been economically successful, but it’s illegal. I think his work is superinteresting.”
Earlier this year, a wall he painted on was detached from a building and auctioned for more than $450,000, according to an article in The Australian. A sketch he donated to England’s Labour Party was auctioned for more than $350,000, according to a BBC News report.
The employee (of a store across the street), who would identify himself only as Shaka, said he believed young people in the community painted over the image.
“It was artistic; it was beautiful,” Shaka said. “But there are so many messages you can put out there, why one promoting hate?” Shaka asked.
If this was an instance of kids painting over the art because they didn’t want an image of violence in their neighborhood…that is artistic.
That is commendable. Even if it was art by Banksy.