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Banksy's Elephant on the Wall


Objet 4. Graffiti adjacent to Banksy exhibit taken on a Sunday afternoon in the fall 2006 by OS.

Much of the inspiration for objetsmart occurred while looking for Banksy's objects on Ebay. Recently, I have discovered many people making Banksy inspired objects for sale. These objects were not created by Banksy, as he is notoriously against merchandising. While he has not personally created or sanctioned t-shirts, mugs, stickers and calendars, there seems to be a demand and now others have supplied.


You might wonder how I began this hobby. Ebaying Banksy has been a recent fascination ever since my friend A and I blagged our way into the Banksy opening some months ago and found ourselves staring at a gargantuan elephant done up in organic red and gold textured paint. There truly was an elephant in the room albeit Bollywood style. The elephant had more handlers then most movie stars, but possessed more gusto and stage presence than any of the nearby celebrities.

I walked around the exhibit and laughed my ass off. I simply loved it. Yes, it did remind me of adventures long ago on Brick Lane in London, or walking around the city just to steal postcards of call girls from the BT phone boxes. Must find, must find these..

The Banksy exhibit, now long gone, but still fresh in memory was everything I love about visual art. Brutality, humour, immediacy. I could gush and say, " Pop art with swagger! I dug!" but my reaction to the work was much closer to my heart. There was thought to the pieces; they were all so clever and so smart.

So much so that when we discovered there were prints for sale, we thought - why not? Standing in line with other graffithusiasts attempting to buy a memento while drinking from the open bar, I thought what an experience. This took many hours of waiting and waiting and drinking and waiting and drinking and talking to everyone in the five feet vicinity. Nonetheless, it was a total giggle and we left the opening buoyed with adrenaline and future debt. Buying a piece of art I discovered can heighten an opening, give it a true raison d'etre truly. The conundrum was that the pieces were not ready that night. You were given a ticket stub and told to return that weekend. Two days later, along with half the city, I returned to the scene of the credit card crime to pick up my grannies. The above tag was on an adjacent building. I paid $500 bucks for a print that sits in a tube in my living room waiting to be framed. I paid nothing for this photo. On ebay, one can buy someone else's photolog of outdoor Banksy images.


I'm tempted to get this as it in itself is a work of art albeit of someone else's art. But I quite like the idea that someone has been compelled to create a calendar of another's public work. If what we photograph in public space is illegal to begin with, it is permissible to document it without guilt. But part of me wonders if it is right to sell someone else's images. In any event, this calendar to me is truly one of the inspirations for objetsmart. Although I've always been fond of elephants.




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