Banksy's works
Notting Hill London, UK from my 2006 archive

April 27, 2011

Street Art continued...

In anticipation of The Royal Wedding, I am sharing work from Banksy. He is after all British, and has made work using THE QUEEN as inspiration...wonder if he is invited to the wedding...

Back in 2006, on my first trip to London, I had the opportunity to buy a Banksy for £200. I was in the Tate Modern gift shop, and nestled in amongst other posters were original silkscreened works by him. I was shocked to find them there because (1) he was a street artist and (2) he was still relatively unknown. I had only known of him through a friend who had studied abroad in London for a semester several years prior. I debated between one poster with a young girl hugging a bomb and another which was similar to the Chimpanzees shown above except they said, "Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge." The works were not signed and I hesitated. I emailed two artist friends back home and asked for their advice. One said it did not matter, the other said it did.

I ended up not buying either one. I cannot describe the regret I have felt over the years at my poor choice. The initial £200 investment would have been the best return on any investment I have ever made. It would likely be valued at tens of thousands of dollars or pounds today. So, next time I get the opportunity to buy work from an artist before their fame skyrockets, I promise myself not to hesitate. At the very least, I would have had an artwork which I loved. I have also wondered all the years if the posters were placed there as a stunt, by Banksy himself.