×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cleaners Paint Over Priceless Art

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the eye-of-the-beholder dept.

Australia 69

The Melbourne city council learned the hard way that one man's art is another man's crap on a wall that needs to be painted over. The council hired a cleanup crew to get rid of graffiti on Hosier Lane, a street renowned for its street art. While there, the crew got rid of the graffiti, as well as a piece by Banksy, who is regarded as one of the world's greatest street artists. From the article: "The reclusive Banksy ... painted several stencils in Melbourne during a 2003 visit. His satirical and distinctive art is often directed at anti-war, cultural, and anti-capitalist themes. Banksy in 2005 painted nine images on Israel's West Bank barrier, including a ladder going over the wall and an image of children breaking through to a tropical island. In 2008, a London wall bearing one of his stencils was said to have sold on eBay for almost $500,000."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

69 comments

All over the world (4, Interesting)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017278)

This has happened all over London as well. In the 4 years I was there.. i used to know of about 25 pieces.. and when i left they were down to about 7. The small "Rats" have a particular knack of getting painted over.. they are all gone, bar one that I know of, in London.

Re:All over the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32027582)

If Banksy's work is so valuable, then he should stop painting on other people's property.

Why doesn't he buy a piece of land with lots of walls and paint all over it? This way he could have the right to prevent others from erasing it.

Now, that guy seems to be such a rebel that he probably would not do that, but then no one should complain if people get their property cleaned of unwanted drawings.

Imagine if someone painted on your shirt without your permission. Should anyone complain that you got it cleaned? even if others consider it art???

Re:All over the world (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#32038742)

You are completely missing the point.

He doesnt care if his work gets painted over, he's not the one who complains. And the reason he is so secretive and reclusive is so he can continue to go around illegally doing all this.

no one in complaining, they are just laughing at Melbourne for losing $0.5M worth of art because they wanted to get rid of graffiti.

whooooshhh (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#32047444)

Part of the aesthetic of street art is in its transience, among other aspects. And as Dthief said already, Banksy is not the one whining or complaining or demanding the persistence of his work.

Re:All over the world (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#32054690)

Reading the fucking article all I can say is that the stuff on the wall in the photo in the article looks much better than that rat anyway. Now if only people could stop tagging everything.

Re:All over the world (1)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32072320)

His work is only valuable because of the context in which it is created. If he had always done those stencils on the walls on someone's private property with their permission no one would pay $500K for them.

Sillyness. Art should be art independent of the context in which it is created or displayed. Otherwise it's just a form of performance art, and we know what utter crap that is.

A london wall sold for almost $500000 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32017378)

I bet most of that was shipping and handling.

it's != its (4, Insightful)

Dagger2 (1177377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017384)

a street renowned for it's street art

Look, it's bad enough seeing this in the comments constantly, without having it in the summary itself. Is it so difficult to just read your sentence to yourself -- "a street renowned for it is street art" -- and realize that it's not quite right?

Re:it's != its (2, Funny)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018914)

Yes, but most people don't recognize "it's" as a contraction, and think of it as the possessive form.

I used to make that mistake alot. :-)

Re:it's != its (1)

jwest (21646) | more than 3 years ago | (#32020734)

Re:it's != its (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32022378)

Well, since we're being nitpicky: "alot" isn't a word at all.

Similarly, a string of characters like :-) (such that they resemble a face when rotated) usually means, "I'm making a joke or other humorous statement," on these intertubes of ours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon [wikipedia.org]
http://www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/emoticons.html [computeruser.com]
http://www.muller-godschalk.com/emoticon.html [muller-godschalk.com]

Agreed! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32021366)

I totally agree with you. Its really annoying when people get they're apostrophes wrong.

Re:Agreed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32027700)

I totally agree with you. Its really annoying when people get they're apostrophes wrong.

No it isn't annoying. What is annoying are people who think they are smart by being annoyed at a very easy to break grammar rule. They also tend to be the type of people who complain and try to legislate about second hand cigarette smoke coming from somebody's back yard.

Re:Agreed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32060934)

They're only easy to break if you're a complete idiot. Go back to grammar school if you can't handle the language.

Re:Agreed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32058342)

I totally agree with you. Its really annoying when people get they're apostrophe's wrong.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Agreed! (1)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32072376)

I totally agree with you. Its really annoying when people get they're apostrophe's wrong.

Fixed that for you.

fixe'd tha't fo'r yo'u

o'h, an'd here's som'e spare's i'n cas'e yo'u ru'n ou't

' ' ' ' ' ' ' '

Re:it's != its (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32043494)

It's correct as written. The street itself is art, and that's why it's renowned. It's a street renowned, for it it street art.

Hrm. Bit of an overstatement, innit? (2, Insightful)

d1r3lnd (1743112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017432)

FTFA: "In 2008, a London wall bearing one of his stencils was said to have sold on eBay for almost $500,000."

It's not actually priceless, then. Besides, the guy's still alive, and might even have the stencils, still.

just curious (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017466)

did he have permission to paint on these walls?

Re:just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32068586)

Probably not. Still I'd prefer to see a Banksy work on a wall rather than scrawl tags. At least he put some thought and humor into his work, which makes it more artistic than the all too common "dog-piss" territory markings.

Anyhow, at times I wish there was a way to rank graffiti quality before deciding on paint overs:
1. Murals: Usually community themed and has permission. May have historical value relating to the location and should be preserved.
2. Artistic: Some random stuff that requires prolonged effort to execute. May rival the quality of murals. May or may not have a message. Usually it's done because there's a great "blank canvas" just perfect for public viewing.
3. Statement: Informs people about something or somebody. Usually protest related and making a statement about politics or society. May also serve as a public warning (A message about shootings, rapes, and muggings occuring there, etc. posted by a victim or their friend.)
4. Throwies: Stylized tagger names and iconography. Sometimes crosses into the artistic quality. Usually for bragging rights amongst grafitti artists but not much else. These usually take more effort than scrawl and involve some thought into original designs.
5. Scrawl: The marks denoting a territorial pissing contest by gangs, hooligans, and thug wannabes. A standardized tag quickly done with little thought, no originality, and no effort towards quality.

I'd say Banksy's stuff rates somewhere between 2 & 3. As to whether or not it's worthy of merit, that depends on who you ask.

I doubt Banksy would care (4, Interesting)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017824)

Isn't Banksy's position that he likes the perishable nature of his art?

Re:I doubt Banksy would care (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017978)

Dunno. He'd paint under a roof if he didn't mind weathering.

But he's probably not all that enamored of negligence. Unless that's what he's trying to do, give the negligent something to expose themselves over.

Same deal for those who maliciously deface his work or steal it.

So maybe he does "like" it.

And what's lost? Some high-precision doodles, really. But we get a whole slashdot thread out of it.

Well...in the Idle section...

Re:I doubt Banksy would care (2, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019524)

I think the word "priceless" is overblown. If it's priceless, then protect it. If this artist indeed wanted lasting work, he'd ask for permissions first and then choose a location likely to be preserved instead of the side of a building like any old generic graffiti. How is the average person supposed to know the difference between vandalism graffiti and art graffiti anyway? This is just like the museum janitor who threw away the collection of rubbish that was an art exhibit, because it happened to look just like any other collection of rubbish. By choosing graffiti as his medium, this artist is seemingly intending to create an ephemeral work.

Re:I doubt Banksy would care (2, Insightful)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 3 years ago | (#32028780)

Waxing Toreador for a moment:

i like the idea that this sort of work is ephemeral. You have to be in a certain place at a certain time to experience. His work has to be found because it's not in a museum, gallery or Hot Topic. The disposable nature of his work is appropriate. i like these street artists who make life a bit more surreal and make the mundane (and ugly) funny or even meaningful.

Besides, we have cameras and websites to make him and his work immortal.

Re:I doubt Banksy would care (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042760)

His work has to be found because it's not in a museum, gallery or Hot Topic.

Apart from the work that he has placed in museums and galleries of course. But your point still stands.

The painter did his job. (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32017928)

The person who ordered the graffiti removal did not.

Re:The painter did his job. (2, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019812)

I have to agree here... ART, especially "Street Art" is very subjective. And the line between art and graffiti is incredibly blurred. Beyond this, if the "artist" didn't have permission to paint/draw on those walls/buildings it is graffiti.

Re:The painter did his job. (2, Informative)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32024886)

And if I dump one of my Picassos on your lawn, it's trash.

It's grafitti painted by a guy who could have fucked any number of hot babes in expensive cities around the world, because of his skills with a hardware store spray paint can.

Doesn't matter what you call it! Banksy can get laid like nobody's business.

Re:The painter did his job. (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#32047478)

Doesn't matter what you call it! Banksy can get laid like nobody's business.

Not so sure about that. He is married.

Delicous Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32017980)

So someone painted over his work which was an illegal painting over someone else's property? This is like someone complaining that someone stole the car he had stolen.

Re:Delicous Irony (1)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018182)

Car analogies are always much appreciated, however I think a better one in this case would be:

This is like someone complaining that someone installed a state of the art sound system to their car and then someone else stole it.

That happens rather often (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018242)

Re:That happens rather often (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 3 years ago | (#32027454)

The only difference is that a Fettecke has no resemblance of art to the layman and thus its removal by cleaners shouldn't suprise anyone. Where as a streetart painting usually does display concrete results of artistic effort that aren't easy to dublicate. I could make a Fettecke right away, but not a piece of streetart. Not without artistic practice and training that is. Goes to show what is truly art and what not, imho.

Re:That happens rather often (1)

Dewin (989206) | more than 3 years ago | (#32047508)

I don't usually reply to signatures, but since you asked:

[My english is better than most other people's german, so please point out mistakes politely. Thank you.]

As proper nouns, being that they are the names of languages, English and German should be capitalized.

Have a nice day.

Re:That happens rather often (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32072390)

[My english is better than most other peoples' german, so please point out mistakes politely. Thank you.]

Also please don't smoke in my office. I enjoy sex way more than you enjoy cigarettes, and you don't see me screwing in your office.

Art? (1, Troll)

jdcope (932508) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018404)

I understand the "creative class" needs their validation because they cannot cope with the real world. But graffiti is vandalism. Deal with it. What if one of them takes a shit on your porch and calls it "art?"

Re:Art? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018576)

I understand the "creative class" needs their validation because they cannot cope with the real world. But graffiti is vandalism. Deal with it.
What if one of them takes a shit on your porch and calls it "art?"

If you can sell it for $500k, art or not, I don't think you'd want the cleaning crew to toss it in a dumpster.

Re:Art? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019564)

If you can sell the dump on your porch for $500k, then you'd be smart to put a plexiglass dome around it and install a security system.

Re:Art? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32021978)

If you can sell the dump on your porch for $500k, then you'd be smart to put a plexiglass dome around it and install a security system.

And pray that you don't get a call like: "This is the Police. Can you come down and identify your stuff?"

Re:Art? (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32026148)

What if one of them takes a shit on your porch and calls it "art?"

If you can sell it for $500k, art or not, I don't think you'd want the cleaning crew to toss it in a dumpster.

Umm... can I have your address? What time do you go to bed?

Re:Art? (2, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#32027072)

I understand the "creative class" needs their validation because they cannot cope with the real world. But graffiti is vandalism. Deal with it.
What if one of them takes a shit on your porch and calls it "art?"

Put it in a paper bag, set that bag on fire, ring the door bell.

It's not art, but it sure in hell is funny.

Re:Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32032912)

I understand the "creative class" needs their validation because they cannot cope with the real world. But graffiti is vandalism. Deal with it.
What if one of them takes a shit on your porch and calls it "art?"

Mapplethorpe, is that you?

define art? (2, Insightful)

Tordre (1447083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018546)

So a man with a stencil and spray paint make 'street art" and a stereotype with spray paint makes 'graffiti'?

Re:define art? (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 3 years ago | (#32059660)

People willing to pay mucho money for it = art
People willing to pay mucho money to remove it = graffiti

Logical, really.

Banksy media campaign (1)

GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) | more than 3 years ago | (#32018908)

For those that don't follow graffiti news, Banksy articles are appearing in media all over the world right now as his pieces (or imitations of the original, Blek le Rat [bleklerat.free.fr] , and Banksy style) appear as promotion for his movie Exit Through The Gift Shop [imdb.com]

Banksy pieces showing up in San Francisco [go.com]
Banksy in Seattle [capitolhillseattle.com]
Banksy feud with King Robbo [guardian.co.uk]

Obligatory Hunter Thompson. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32018944)

There is no art, until it is sold.

Banksy's loves war?! (2, Funny)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019064)

His satirical and distinctive art is often directed at anti-war, cultural, and anti-capitalist themes.

So he's pro-war, anti-culture and pro-capitalsm? I guess I must have somewhat misinterpreted his art.

Now slashdot will be on Conroy's blacklist (3, Insightful)

ross.w (87751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32024630)

You've discussed graffiti, which is a crime in Australia and material that discusses or promotes it are Refused Classification. Welcome to the blacklist ladies and gentlemen, with more to come.

Re:Now slashdot will be on Conroy's blacklist (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32136084)

ALL HEIL CONROY, OUR BIG BROTHER!
And now for something completely different...
15 minutes of hate!

artist? no, vandal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32027478)

you want your crap to sell, paint it on your own property

Bristol (1)

fuzzywig (208937) | more than 3 years ago | (#32027804)

Here in Bristol (Banksy's hometown), the public outcry over the council painting over well loved graffiti has got to the point where they will now hold a public vote on which bits to keep, and what will be painted over. Personally I love the different paintings which are on almost every flat surface in parts of town (eg Stokes Croft), they turn what would otherwise be a pretty crappy corner of town, into a big out-door gallery.

truth. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32036392)

"His satirical and distinctive art is often directed at anti-war, cultural, and anti-capitalist themes"

AND NOTHING OF VALUE WAS LOST

Priceless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32047378)

Not exactly how I would describe it. His art-form is temporary in nature. Nothing to see here.

Re:Priceless? (1)

CoolCalmChris (991775) | more than 3 years ago | (#32061686)

Assigning value to a stencil on someone else's property...sure, makes prefect sense. People who do work of this nature (graffiti, street art, whatever) don't get bent out of shape when their illegal spots get painted over.

Norman Rockwell next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065082)

Can we do Norman Rockwell next?

Please, please please!

Let me get this straight... (1)

unusualHoon (1779448) | more than 3 years ago | (#32072574)

Would painting over Banksy's work be considered graffiti? Talk about irony.

Look out world, I'm going to be the next world renowned graffiti artist, Skanby! Known for seeking out and painting over world renowned graffiti.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...