“If Banksy Can…So Can We, Trackside Graffiti (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk ).
So the logic goes something like this…
Graffiti writer Tox writes his name on walls and gets 27 months of custodial sentence.
Banksy writes Tox on a wall and it gets perspex and cctv protection.
Banksy’s Tox piece under Perspex. And no, that copper isn’t recording evidence… (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk )
The difference between them both is apparently artistic according to prosecutor Hugo Lodge who said of Tox “He is no Banksy. He doesn’t have the artistic skills”. Quite what that’s got to do with anything I don’t know. Right now I can’t think of any other case of criminal damage that gets decided on artistic merit. Maybe if I was to smash up a bus shelter window and then sweep the glass up into the shape of a dove I’d get away with it? Or maybe not.
The real difference between them both to the powers that be is more likely ultimately all to do with the folding stuff. When Banksy spray paints a wall the owner is often told it’s worth a six figure sum. That means that they’re hardly going to lodge a complaint. Not so with Tox who is best known for his relentless campaign on London’s Underground. He gets over two years in jail.
Tox means something to a lot of people too, just look what support he’s got in the Channel 4 street summer comp:http://www.dontpaniconline.com/street_summer/entry/74 . Why not add your support until we can think of something better to help?. It’ll only get him in the Top 10 for the London area when he gets judged by ‘Channel 4 and the mentor from your area’. C’monSer – sort out Tox as number one!
Tox (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk )
Elsewhere there’s been a couple of other bits of Banksy in the news. His gorilla with a mask piece painted way back in 2007 suffered the fate of being painted over last week. At the time it appeared Banksy had been keeping a bit of a low profile – it sort of re-announced his coming out of hiding. The piece was painted over on the instructions of Saeed Ahmed who didn’t appreciate its significance until lots of locals told him that the graffiti on the side of his newly acquired building wasn’t ‘regular’ graffiti. Oh, and Banksy has reportedly painted Kate Moss’s toilet or something as a wedding gift but I doubt we’ll see any pics of that anytime soon. Maybe check OK or Hello.
Banksy gorilla in Bristol – now painted over and then partially restored (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk )