The problem with street art is the fact that, no surprise there, it is found on the street. No protection, nothing. Just good old faith and the belief that people would let something, that is ment to belong to everyone, alone. Big surprise – apparently that is not enough. Living in 2013 and the century where nothing is ever left alone, the art world was not too surprised when a famous piece of Banksy mural all of a sudden appeared for sale on an auction in the US this week. The artwork, which is of a barefoot boy using a sewing machine to stitch union flag bunting, apparently in a sweatshop, was put up by the anonymous artist, who goes under the pseudonym Banksy, in May and has become a pride and joy for locals in the area around Wood Green. Or at least, all until it happened to be on an auction in the States with a price tag of $500,000 to $700,000 (£323,000 to £452,000).
The artwork, which was originally seen to be condemning child labour and mocking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the ridiculous amount of money spent on it, was, it seems like, wanted in America and was therefore taken in the midst of the night and shipped over the canal. I find it shameful that people steal something as public as street art to make a profit out of it. You might as well steal a London phone box, paint it with flowers and sell it for a fortune in China? What is the point of city landmarks and street art if people can’t leave it alone?
Banksy, being an artist, who in the style of Swift, liked to have a say in the matters of state, have always tried to provoke and show some of the less moral sides of society. After the riots last year, still fresh in mind of the people in this area, the picture has brought a feeling of affiliation to the locals – just the feeling that they needed. Not only was the artwork loved by the community, it did also bring quite a few turists to the sight. Haringey councillor Alan Strickland said to the Guardian that people were angry after the removal and he explained that a resident had noticed that the mural had been covered by scaffolding last weekend, and thinking that something funny was going one, she removed the scaffolding and noticed that – hey, no piece of art there.
I don’t think you need to be a scientist to say that obviously there has been some funky business going on here.. Banksy had earlier been offered a nice sum for this artwork, but refused to sell it as he believed that street work ‘should remain in its original location’. Apparently someone did not agree with him…