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Radovan Nastić RSS / 25.07.2012. u 20:32

Will London Really Erase Banksy's New Olympics Art?

 

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In cleaning up London's graffiti for the Olympics city authorities threaten to squelch the work one of its biggest celebrities, the street artist Banksy, but on Monday the secretive graffiti artist showed he wouldn't be deterred from creating Olympics-related art while the whole world is watching. The new pieces that appeared on Banksy's website put police, who've threatened to remove any graffiti they find, in the position of having to power-wash valuable artwork.

The missile image above, and the pole-vaulter below are both new, following arrests of graffiti artists last week and the banning of street artists from Olympics venues. The Guardian's Jonathan Jones argued on Friday that Banksy was one of the great attractions of London, a point borne out by the popularity of his 2009 show at the Bristol Museum and the fact that his works sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. When Bristol street cleaners painted over a Banksy work in 2007, it was considered a serious mistake. Based on his new works, the artist clearly plans to use the olympics as fodder, essentially daring the city to carry out its threats against street art.



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p.s.
 Are UK Police Cracking Down on Graffiti Artists Ahead of Olympics?
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Some London graffiti critical of the 2012 Olympics that was painted in 2008. (via flickr.com/nicohogg)

The British blogs and media are buzzing with reports that UK police are visiting the homes of graffiti writers in what appears to be an attempt to scare artists from leaving their mark during the city’s Olympic spotlight. Four alleged graffiti artists have been arrested and they have been placed on bail conditions that would prohibit them from creating any graffiti (even sanctioned work) affiliated with the Olympics, traveling within a mile of any Olympic venue, associate with any individual also on bail or using any train, subway or other rail service for leisure purposes.

The story broke when The London Vandal received phone calls from individuals they identify as ex-graffiti writers whose homes were raided by police. The blog explains the context for the arrests [emphasis theirs]:

Some of the people who were arrested had stopped painting graffiti without prior permission over a decade ago, and now paint commissioned artwork for corporate clients, while others haven’t touched a spray can at all in many years. For both types of ex-graffiti enthusiast, a knock on the door from the British Transport Police was the last thing they were expecting.

After being taken into custody, the artists were questioned about petty vandalism matters from the 1990s, according to London Vandal. Since then, and through the reporting of The New Statesman, more facts of the arrests have emerged and some of the statements on The London Vandal, which initially reported 30 artists were arrested, have been proven false. The London Vandal has since corrected their post.

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More anti-Olympics graffiti in London, 2010 (via flickr.com/strangefrontier)

The New Statesmen explain that the bail conditions are not usual for the UK, though they do sound severe by North American standards. The publication goes on to point out that the Olympic-related condition is unusual.The London Police wrote in their statement to The New Statesman:

The men were taken to a police custody suite in Victoria for further questioning before being released on bail until November, with the following bail conditions:

  • Not to enter any railway system, including Tubes and trams, or be in any train, tram or Tube station or in or on any other railway property not open to the public unless to attend a written appointment with a solicitor, to attend court, for a legitimate business or educational purpose; one direct journey each way
  • Not to be in possession of any spray paint, marker pens, any grout pen, etching equipment, or unset paint
  • Not to associate or communicate with the other persons arrested and on bail for this investigation
  • Not to be at or within one mile of any Olympic venue in London or elsewhere in England

There are many issues in the arrests that should raise the eyebrows of those concerned with freedom of expression. The Guardian spoke to one of the arrested artists, Darren Cullen, 38, who has been running a legitimate business that provides ”spraycan artwork and branding to major international companies” including Adidas, Microsoft and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The newspaper asked Cullen about his arrest:

… he said, he was asked about a website he had set up two years ago on behalf of a client, frontline-magazine.co.uk. The website was “all about the history of graffiti”, Cullen said, but did not promote it. “I don’t condone or promote illegal graffiti,” he said. “I always say to young people: ‘Don’t do it. It’s no good for you.’”

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Some anti-Olympic graffiti in London, 2009 (via flickr.com/blahflowers)

Critics of the UK police are saying this is only the latest attempt by the authorities to clean up its image for the Olympics. Surprisingly the UK authorities seem oblivious to the fact that the global UK brand is nowadays strongly affiliated with graffiti and street art.

This isn’t the first time street art and the Olympics have caused headlines and media attention. It’s worth nothing that James Powderly of Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) was arrested for planning to project “laser graffiti” during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In 2010, the city of Vancouver was hosting the Winter Games and the Canadian city worked hard to ensure that anti-Olympic graffiti and street art was promptly removed.

This year in London, Street art watchers are eagerly waiting for Banksy to react to the Olympic situation. Last May, the mysterious street artist created a work critical of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee but no signs yet of an Olympic work.

 


Komentari (7)

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Milutin Milošević Milutin Milošević 20:58 25.07.2012

Britanski

The British blogs and media are buzzing with reports that UK police are visiting the homes of graffiti writers in what appears to be an attempt to scare artists from leaving their mark during the city’s Olympic spotlight. Four alleged graffiti artists have been arrested and they have been placed on bail conditions that would prohibit them from creating any graffiti (even sanctioned work) affiliated with the Olympics, traveling within a mile of any Olympic venue, associate with any individual also on bail or using any train, subway or other rail service for leisure purposes.

Tipičan Britanski nedemokratski diktatorski pristup bezbednosti
antioksidant antioksidant 07:36 26.07.2012

Re: Britanski

Milutin Milošević
The British blogs and media are buzzing with reports that UK police are visiting the homes of graffiti writers in what appears to be an attempt to scare artists from leaving their mark during the city’s Olympic spotlight. Four alleged graffiti artists have been arrested and they have been placed on bail conditions that would prohibit them from creating any graffiti (even sanctioned work) affiliated with the Olympics, traveling within a mile of any Olympic venue, associate with any individual also on bail or using any train, subway or other rail service for leisure purposes.

Tipičan Britanski nedemokratski diktatorski pristup bezbednosti

sudeći po činjenici da u čačku policija juri klince koji su pisali grafit/drogovni cenovnik a ne dilera, čini mi se da ja dačić sve sličniji gledstonu
Radovan Nastić Radovan Nastić 12:27 26.07.2012

Re: Britanski

napreduju u diktaturi, previse su citali Filipa K. Dika i jos ga pogresno skapirali, ali ocigledno im se svidja to nesrecno uredjenje drzava buducnosti, pa vec testiraju...

i jos ''slucajan'' zajeb oko zastava Koreja...
Budimac Budimac 00:34 26.07.2012

******

Meni je ovo nadasve zanimljivo:

Branded clothes come under scrutiny in London Olympics flap <<< link
Radovan Nastić Radovan Nastić 12:23 26.07.2012

Re: ******

ovo je toliko blesavo, zreli su za posmatranje !!

ne znam da li ce uvesti nepobodbne tetovaze ? nepodobnu boju odece ?

odvratno.
tyson tyson 05:45 26.07.2012

Represija par exellence

The London Police wrote in their statement to The New Statesman:

The men were taken to a police custody suite in Victoria for further questioning before being released on bail until November, with the following bail conditions:

Not to enter any railway system, including Tubes and trams, or be in any train, tram or Tube station or in or on any other railway property not open to the public unless to attend a written appointment with a solicitor, to attend court, for a legitimate business or educational purpose; one direct journey each way
Not to be in possession of any spray paint, marker pens, any grout pen, etching equipment, or unset paint
Not to associate or communicate with the other persons arrested and on bail for this investigation
Not to be at or within one mile of any Olympic venue in London or elsewhere in England

Koje je ovo klasično diktatorsko ludilo!

Za ovo ih treba odrati, ali odrati za odštetu.

Jebale* ih olimpijske igre.


Radovan Nastić Radovan Nastić 12:31 26.07.2012

Re: Represija par exellence

vidis da sve saznajemo alternativnim putevima...

najesce se organizatori love a ovce ce da gledaju dopingovane sportiste kako obaraju rekorde...

gledao sam dokumentarac o Ben Dzonsonu - ako me pamcenje sluzi, on je bio pozitivan na 4 nedozvoljene supstance, a Karl Luis na 3, kao i svi ostali ucesnici trke ! Ali ta jedna vise Kanadjanina je potirala svu hemiju Luisa.

ne znam koji sport postoji a da nisu pod ''djusom''. Karling ?? mada tamo su i najbolje ribe, tako da verujem da su ''ciste'' :)

Arhiva

   

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