Artist of the Month: Banksy

He is perhaps the most well known graffiti artist in the world.  A native of England, Banksy has left his mark in hundreds of places all over the globe.  He tends to bring political commentary with his work, often aimed at local issues where the art is placed.  He tends to get even more famous when people start stealing his work and then auctioning it off.  In 2008, Banksy made a visit to New Orleans.  Since I’m getting ready for a visit to the city I thought it a good time to do a little research and see if any of his works are still available for viewing.

 

Banksy created 14 art pieces in NOLA.  The most well known of these is probably “umbrella girl” (more on her in just a bit).  The most controversial was one depicting looting by national guardsmen (note: according to what I’ve read no guardsmen were witnessed looting although NOPD was caught doing it)

 

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Of the 14, very few are still remaining.  Some were covered over, some were stolen and, in a few cases, the entire building was demolished taking the artwork with it.  According to most sites, there are only 3 Banksy pieces still visible in the city.  These include umbrella girl, sunflowers and stick figure.

 

Umbrella Girl Lots of people know this piece, whether they realize it is his work or not.  Often, people confuse this for an art portrait rather than street art.  In an effort to save her, she was covered in plexiglass.  Vandals managed to get her anyway and, in December 2013, she was covered in red spray paint.  Most of the paint was able to be removed.  The last photo is how she exists now.

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(Sources unknown.  If any of these are yours, please let me know so I may credit you properly)

 

Sunflowers This was supposedly a response by Banksy to the grey ghost, an “anti street artist” who covers street art with gray paint.  On August 27, 2008 it appeared with the yellow flowers and someone was lucky enough to get a picture.  By the next day, the flower was obscured.  It was later covered with plexiglass for protection.

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Stick Figure  This is probably the most well preserved of all the pieces.  The original (the gray was already on the wall at the time he did the art) and the current piece.

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For a map of all the original pieces and their current status, visit here

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