Banksy Work Removed to Gallery

An incident in Detroit raises several questions about street art. Renowned British graffiti artist Banksy visited a crumbling factory in the city and painted a wall.
Discovered last weekend, the stenciled work shows a forlorn boy holding a can of red paint next to the words “I remember when all this was trees.” But by Tuesday, artists from the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, a feisty grassroots group, had excavated the 7-by-8-foot, 1,500-pound cinder block wall with a masonry saw and forklift and moved the piece to their grounds near the foot of the Ambassador Bridge in southwest Detroit.

The move -- a guerilla act on top of Banksy’s initial guerilla act -- has sparked an intense debate about the nature of graffiti art, including complicated questions of meaning, legality, value and ownership. Some say the work should be protected and preserved at all costs. Others say that no one had a right to move it — and that the power and meaning of graffiti art is so intrinsic to its location that to relocate it is to kill it.

The gallery defends its action by pointing out that the artwork would have been destroyed soon along with the building. Others respond that Banksy may have intended for that to happen. And then there's the fact that the context gave the painting it meaning in the first place. One could say that while Banksy broke laws against trespassing and vandalism, the gallery is guilty of theft. The property owner hasn't said anything about it yet. No one yet knows who, if anyone, stands to profit from the incident. Link -via Metafilter

(Image source: Banksy)

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While I concede that a lot of graffiti art is spectacular, I don't agree with the idea of going onto someone's property and doing what you want with it, no matter how beautiful. This may have been an abandoned area, but it still belongs to someone, and doing anything on it without express permission is a criminal act that no one, even a world famous artist, has the right to commit.This is an art form I have little respect or appreciation of because of that.
Everyone involved is guilty. The only people with a right to that artwork are the property owners.
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Greed is a disgusting human motivator.
If this was not "valuable" it would have been left alone to the whims of the elements and eventually torn down by human progress.
Which is what I would have wanted, if I were a certain famous artist.
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Uhhh, all those who scream crime and punishment, meaning vs vandalism and intent-

The world is not is a fluid-the justifications for ant drama associated with the evolution of this piece of art, and the art created from its relocation, remains valid.
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