Banksy reveals he meant to shred entire £1m painting

Street artist Banksy has posted a new video about the shredding of his famous Girl With Balloon painting, implying that it was supposed to have been completely destroyed in the stunt.
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‘Going, Going, Gone…’: Banksy Artwork Shreds Itself After Sale

Banksy, the anonymous British street artist famous for his political spoofs, pulled a $ 1 million prank on a buyer of one of his works.
WSJ.com: Lifestyle

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Banksy Painting Self-Destructs After Fetching $1.4 Million at Sotheby’s

The British street artist Banksy appeared to pull off one of his most spectacular pranks on Friday night, with a frame that shredded his “Girl With Balloon” after it sold.
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Janelle Monáe, A$AP Rocky and Banksy Take to Walltime

VIRTUAL STREET STYLE: One of the Bowery’s busier corners, Houston Street, has a continually changing attraction thanks to the free app Walltime.
Banksy, Janelle Monáe and A$ AP Rocky are among the talent who have had their videos beamed on the wall there. Users can tune in remotely to watch it via live webcams and listen to synched soundtracks on iPhones. But Walltime can also be used to share Vimeo or YouTube videos on walls anywhere in the world. Live since January, the Walltime app is a new way to bring virtual content into a public space. Cofounder and chief executive officer Alex S. Vandoros said, “It adds what we believe is a new dimension to social media and audio visual content. Anybody can see anything on their iPhone. But there’s not really a platform out there that puts together virtual cloud-based content and actual walls — or other outdoor assets.”
Monáe’s new music video, “Pynk,” was teased last week downtown with a “sort of hush-hush release.” The app’s dual function allows people to listen to high-quality audio in synch with the projection. Not long ago while having dinner nearby at Cherche Midi, Atlantic Records executives happened to see A$ AP Rocky screening a video

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Exhibition of artist who inspired Banksy

He was the rock star painter who inspired rappers, filmmakers and street artists.

Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Banksy beats Turner in UK’s favourite artworks

Banksy’s famous stencil of a girl losing a heart-shaped balloon has been chosen as Britain’s favourite artwork.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Meet ‘Beirut’s Banksy,’ The Artist Who’s Transforming The City One Wall At A Time

Artist Yazan Halwani peels political banners and posters off Beirut’s walls to make room for his murals. Born in the Lebanese capital, Halwani, 22, grew up against the backdrop of political logos stenciled on city walls and faded posters of politicians plastered on street corners, some left over from the civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990.

In Lebanon, “people usually identify with sectarian or political symbols,” Halwani said. Frustrated with the political fragmentation and sectarian strife on and off the walls of Beirut, he decided to draw the public’s attention to cultural figures that “reunite Lebanese, and Arab citizens, without any divisions.” On walls and buildings in East and West Beirut (which were separated during the civil war), he paints large-scale portraits of Arab poets, musicians and actors, encircled by intricate Arabic calligraphy.

Born a couple of years after the war, Halwani is part of a generation of Lebanese youth pushing, in various ways, for greater unity in Lebanon. With his artwork, he strives to offset decades of political polarization that has resulted in cultural divisions and “a weakening of national identity.”

Referred to as “Beirut’s Banksy” by Arab media outlet Al-Arabiya, Halwani has also produced artwork for international street art events, and his work has appeared in Germany, Singapore and Paris. By taking his calligraphy outside the Arab region, Halwani says, he wants to instigate “cross-cultural conversations” and to inspire a “positive view of the Arab world.”

But it’s his work in Beirut that’s garnering the world’s attention.

Political paralysis is nothing new in Lebanon’s government, which is tenuously balanced according to the country’s religious factions. But it has reached new heights: The country’s parliament has failed to pick a president for more than one year, and its inaction and corruption leaves much of the country without regular access to services like electricity and water. This summer, more than 20,000 tons of garbage has accumulated on Beirut’s streets after a major landfill closed and the government failed to agree on an alternative dump or a new contract for its garbage collection company.

Residents began to protest, resulting in the YouStink campaign decrying their officials. Public frustration peaked last month, with the recent wave of protests in the capital being described as “the biggest show of civil disobedience” in a decade. 

Halwani marched in a mass YouStink rally in downtown Beirut on Aug. 22. 

“I think the current problem and the main motivation behind my artwork stem from the same reason,” says Halwani. “Sectarian political forces that are working in their own self-interest.”

Halwani won’t write political slogans on Beirut’s walls, though. By painting much less polarizing figures, he subversively proposes an alternative cultural and political narrative: one of unity and harmony.

“I think that what needs to be done on a political level cannot be summed up with a wall tag,” he says.  

Along the side of a building in the vibrant district of Hamra, Lebanese singer-actress Sabah peers out onto the street, smiling disarmingly, surrounded by a halo of interwoven Arabic letters that look like snowflakes from afar. Across an orange wall in the lively residential district of Gemmayzeh, Halwani painted beloved musical icon Fairouz, in black, white and grey.

“I want to replace corrupt politics with more positive cultural elements that show the real face of the country,” he says.

Halwani’s street art hasn’t always been propelled by such lofty ambitions. At the age of 14, he was drawn to French hip-hop songs and gangster films. “Everyone wanted to grow up to be a soldier or an actor, but I wanted to be a gangster like these taggers in New York,” he says. He started tagging his name on Beirut’s walls, in bright colors and big letters. Later, however, he experienced what he calls a “critical response” toward his own work. “I realized that what I was doing did not have a shred of identity. It had no relationship to Beirut. That’s why people ignored or destroyed it.”

Around the same time, Halwani borrowed a calligraphy book from his uncle. He quickly discovered that there was a discrepancy between the essence of calligraphy and that of tagging; the former was less about the artist and more about the words (often Quranic verses or folkloric proverbs.). “I was no longer interested in writing my name,” he says.

In fact, he was no longer interested in writing anything at all. The Arabic letters he places around his portraits often don’t make up legible words; they’re more like ornate crossword puzzles. “What I try to do is I try to evoke meaning without having to use the actual word … I use calligraphy to create an Arabic visual language which can be understood by Arabic and non-Arabic speakers alike,” he noted.

Often, he seeks to paint murals that start conversations. On one of the walls in Concord Street is a portrait of a gray-haired man, his eyelids on the verge of caving in, his gaze despondent. His creased forehead is crowned with tufts of white and grey hair. The portrait is of Ali Abdullah, a homeless man who for years had set up residence in the nearby Bliss Street. In January 2013, Beirut’s harsh weather reportedly led to his death. The incident mobilized hundreds of Lebanese youth to launch initiatives to help the homeless.

“After two weeks, everybody forgot about him,” says Halwani. “I decided to repaint him, just to tell people that you do not need to help the homeless only when you hear a tragic story on the news.”

As Halwani was standing in a shopping cart, with blotches of black paint on his shorts and T-shirt, a worn out taxi pulled up by the curb. A teary-eyed driver called Halwani over, and said, “When I saw what you’re doing, I was really touched. I used to see this homeless man on the street.”

Three years later, Halwani is still touched by what happened next: Desperate to give something, anything, back to the artist, the driver offered him a ride. “All I have is this car. If you need to go anywhere, I’m ready to take you,” the driver told him.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Arts – The Huffington Post
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Banksy Slave Labour Sewing Machine Boy Men’s T-Shirt

Banksy Slave Labour Sewing Machine Boy Men’s T-Shirt


This men’s t-shirt is 100% cotton and premium quality. It is available in sizes small to XXXL and has been professionally screen printed. This t-shirt features the a young boy using a sewing machine to make union jack flags.

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Women’s Banksy Golf Sale T-Shirt (Red) (X Large)

Women’s Banksy Golf Sale T-Shirt (Red) (X Large)


The t-shirt is premium quality and 100% cotton. Available in a choice of sizes. The shirt is pre-shrunk and machine washable. The image is a high quality screen print that will not crack or peel.

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Former Banksy Collaborator Says Online Photos Of Him Are Real

Ever since Banksy arrived in New York City this month, bloggers have gone crazy speculating as to the true identify of Britain’s illustrious — and very anonymous — street artist.

It turns out we may have already seen his face before.

Joel Unangst, a Los Angeles warehouse owner who granted Banksy the space to erect his first American art show, confirmed that the man featured in photos the Daily Mail published in 2008 is the devilish graffiti master himself.

In an interview with The Huffington Post’s Mallika Rao, Unangst pointed specifically to these images, claiming that they are, in fact, the real deal.

“There’s pictures of him at the Daily Mail,” he said.

Unangst has spoken about his experience of meeting Banksy in Los Angeles before, describing the mysterious Brit as a man who dresses in white paint-smudged T-shirts, shorts, and sneakers. Following his 2007 interview with The New Yorker, however, Unangst had a “fallout” with Banksy and his team, thus ending his communication with the famous street artist.

“If you want to be cool with Banksy, you don’t really talk about him,” Unangst explained to HuffPost.

For more information on why Unangst and other street art figures believe Banksy has been able to keep his identity a secret, check out our complete interview here. For more on the Banksy’s month-long New York City residency, which ends Thursday, visit our Live Blog.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Who Is Banksy?

One afternoon in 2006, a Frenchman and a guy who looked like a plumber drove up to a warehouse at the end of a quiet commercial street east of downtown Los Angeles.

The Frenchman was Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, an eccentric filmmaker who frequently collaborates with the elusive British street artist known as Banksy.

The other man — the plumber type — was Banksy himself.

So starts the juiciest personal story in the repertoire of Joel Unangst, the owner of the warehouse he said Banksy and Guetta drove up to that day. The two men were scouting a site for “Barely Legal,” Banksy’s first American art show, which notoriously featured an illegal painted elephant, and would prove instrumental to the artist’s rise.

The deal went through. True to form, Banksy liked the building’s for its “remote” location on a dead end street, Unangst told The Huffington Post.

For his part, Unangst said he had no sense that the ordinary-looking Brit he was signing up would become one of the world’s most famous artists.

It may be hard to imagine Banksy as a nobody, as his high-stakes, much-covered New York City residency, “Better Out Than In,” comes to a close Thursday. For the past month, the iconic graffiti artist has played a cat-and-mouse game with the NYPD, dropping public artworks daily — some simple (the classic black-and-white Banksy stencil), some staggeringly elaborate (a slaughterhouse truck packed with stuffed animals, in protest of factory farming, titled “Sirens of the Lambs”). He’s managed to criticize the obvious targets along the way — McDonald’s, the art world, the new World Trade Center — and rankle Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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A spray-painted wall attributed to Banksy in Williamsburg, whose owners have hired security guards to protect it.

But bigger than all those triumphs is that he wasn’t caught. Throughout the monthlong residency, Banksy’s secrets were kept — his location, his given name, his cell phone number. Anonymity is crucial to his operation. It keeps him out of jail, and sustains, as he put it in a New Yorker article “the element of surprise” his fans love.

He hasn’t always succeeded. Do a Google search, and you’ll inevitably find grainy photographs of a Robert De Niro look-alike. Unangst said these are the real deal. “There’s pictures of him at the Daily Mail,” he said.

Among the street artist community, though, there’s a silent agreement not to squeal. “A lot of people know who Banksy is. A lot of street artists,” said Stephen Powers, a founder of the collective, Brooklyn Street Art. “I think that’s part of the fun of the street. People don’t talk. To me, that more or less proves the kind of respect he has on the streets. If you wanted to damage his brand, the first thing you’d do is expose him.”

Banksy wasn’t exactly welcomed by his American colleagues. The “clannish” nature of the street art community made for “xenophobic comments,” Powers said, “about this British guy coming over here to New York.”

But “as far as codes go, it’s ‘Don’t rat,’” said Bishop203, owner of Low Brow Artique, a graffiti supply store in Brooklyn. Bishop, himself an anonymous artist, said Banksy “haters” sounded off in his store all month, but there was never even a wishful allusion to outing the artist.

2013-10-30-banksy2.jpg

“What’s the point?” said Yoav Litvin, a New York-based photographer who writes about street art. “Your reputation would be destroyed. Street art is a lot about respect.”

Respecting Banksy occasionally backfires. The story goes that a few months ago, an artist uploaded a picture to Instagram of himself and another man, captioned “me and my boy, Banksy,” according to Bishop. The idea, Bishop said, was to show off.

But the peacocking apparently had the opposite effect. “Every other graffiti writer verbally destroyed him, until he finally took it down very quickly,” Bishop said.

Conspiracy theorists point to the aura of protection around Banksy as confirmation of a much-espoused rumor: that he doesn’t actually exist.

James Top, a member of New York’s first generation of graffiti artists, subscribes to this explanation. He said he believes Banksy to be an invention of “powerful and wealthy” art world players who’ve discovered how to reliably turn a buck — by making and selling work as “this mythical Banksy person.”

A scheme headed by an imaginary mascot seems less farfetched than an all-powerful code, Top said.

2013-10-30-banksy3.jpg
One of Banksy’s stealthiest acts during his New York residency — a landscape donated to a Housing Works shop, with a Nazi figure painted into it.

“Some of his friends must be in difficult financial situations,” Top said. “If someone needed $ 15,000 to save his home versus protect Banksy’s image, you’re telling me he wouldn’t be willing to sell a picture of Banksy here in New York?”

Unangst, who swears Banksy is real, said the answer is simple: “If you want to be cool with Banksy, you don’t really talk about him.”

He learned that lesson the hard way. Unangst was a prime source in the 2007 New Yorker article on Banksy, an expert on what writer Lauren Collins called “the nearly unprecedented experience of meeting Banksy.”

Unangst’s revelations weren’t explosive. Banksy is “a genius and a madman,” he said, “like everybody, but … like nobody.” Some details were clearer, like Banksy’s penchant for paint-smudged T-shirts. Unangst said he was asked to use a generic male name when talking to him. But nothing was damning — there were no birth names confirmed, or covert photographs sold to the magazine.

Still, there was a “fallout,” Unangst said, adding that he’s no longer in touch with Banksy or his team.

He remains a fan. “Better Out Than In” has compelled him for its sheer scope. Unangst hypothesizes that the crew of 15 or so Englishman he met in 2006 has blossomed into more. Banksy — who he said was “very good at cutting stencils,” and “paranoid” about being outed — may well be sitting in the shadows while his army of “art warriors” execute the plans out on the street.

As for why no one in Banksy’s inner circle has gone soft and run to the tabloids, Unangst has a simple theory: “Even they don’t want to be photographed.”
Arts – The Huffington Post
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