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When Street Art and $$$ Collide

Arts & Culture
Claudia Cukrov
  • 22 january 2009

Melbourne street art collective, The Everfresh Studio, wrote an interesting post about what happens when money gets involved with street art.  Everfresh feature a video of Banksy’s last remaining Jamaican street stencil being removed for EBay sale.  Filmed and orchestrated by Banksy’s photographer ‘nemesis’ Peter Dean RickardsThe Afflicted Yard: The Rock documents the removal of the 2004 Mona Rd stencil, to a holding yard awaiting sale.  Ten single-run images of the removal of ‘Balloon Girl’ were posted on EBay, with a starting bid of USD$100, 000.  Richards has also listed the actual wall piece on EBay for USD$150, 000 here.

Describing the wall Richards states:

It was a non-eventful day when he actually drew them. He bought some construction paper from a local pharmacy and cut the  stuff out. Then he drew this stencil of a girl on an exterior wall and some rabbits on the inside the pub itself. I kind of just stood there taking his picture because it was something to do. I had already captured his face back at Buju’s studio where he had done some other stuff so this was just extra. I didn’t really think much of it. I mean I live in a place where people get shot for marking up people’s walls (usually with a paintbrush), so a few sprayed stencils on the wall of a pub didn’t strike me as particularly interesting.

Later when I heard how much his stuff was selling for, I contemplated going back and chopping the wall down. It was there for years and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought about doing it. Mona road is heavily travelled by a lot of foreign students on their way to the university so people from all over the world would often mention it, but nobody ever took the steps to cut it down…till this last August when I got a email from someone asking about my knowledge of the locations Banksy had tagged. That’s when I figured I should probably go get it before someone else did.
The wall is the last remaining tag that he did in Jamaica that can be seen in public. It’s also the only remaining stencil that has the tag BANKSY on it.

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