Was it Banksy? Is it Art?

There's quite a stir in town at the moment as a piece of graffiti art has appeared on the bus stop outside the local cinema. There's much speculation on whether it's 'a Banksy', the famous graffiti artist from nearby Bristol. It certainly has his trademark quirkyness that makes you look twice, but I'm not sure as it doesn't seem as well executed as the examples on the above link, the couple I've seen in Bristol, or Banksy's own website.

The local bus company's taking a rather dim view of it all and threatening to remove the picture. Could be a tad hasty if it is the real mccoy, they'd be better off selling the shelter to a Banksy collector - prices can top £300,000. A house sale in Bristol has just fallen through as the potential new owner was threatening to paint over the Banksy on one of the walls. He then found out he wasn't actually buying a house, but 'a work of art with a building attached'. Another home owner has actually removed part of his wall, for fear his artwork might be painted over. Mind you, Bristol Council did manage to cover one up by mistake, before they declared all the other Banksy's in Bristol should be preserved.

As for the question 'Is it Art?', I think the answer's yes (as the above anecdotes seem to be saying too), but as for it being 'Great Art' - I'll let you be the judge. You can even click here to join the debate!


  1. art or vandalism?

    it will always be debated and there is no final answer - but you should check out all the CDPB blogs on the 1st March as graffiti/street art is the theme for the day with over 100 blogs participating.

  2. Wouldn't it be ironic if they decided to 'erase' it and then learned ir really was art, not graffiti?

  3. 1. I hate Tagging and look upon that as vandalism
    2. I am more reluctant to Graffity, but do not accept that people should destroy public or private property by cover walls and doors/windows with sprayboxes
    3. Your picture is street art, and for me that is placed in accordance with the environment not destroying it.

    The problem is that many new artist do everything to present their works (like me at ABCW), and in addition they try to sell their art in commercial ways. When the ordinary paintwork rise in price, councils see an option to make the street art work a PR for the town, and want to use them in marketing for tourists.
    That is the dilemma .
    They cannot have it both ways

  4. That's the dilemma isn't it everyone? This standard of street art is great, but what actually differentiates it from graffiti?

    Is it the intentions of the artist (good/enhancement as opposed to defacement)?, The standard of the work? The place they choose to do it?

    Thanks for the tip about the CDPB blogs hyde dp, I'll be looking out for them to see if I can find some answers!

    Arnea - thanks for visiting again today. You've made some good points and I asked you to comment because I wanted the viewpoint of an artist. I'm still unsure how street art can be differentiated from say graffiti, e.g covering a train or wall. It doesn't destroy those objects, so does that make it street art, even if it's just someone spraying a slogan or their name?


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