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Banksy in Margate – Valentines Day Mascara

Banksy in Margate – Valentines Day Mascara

Banksy - Valentines Day Mascara
Banksy – Valentines Day Mascara (image:

Banksy’s ‘Valentine Day Mascara’ in Margate. Originally announced on Banksy’s instagram on February 14th. The artist does not explain it any further but it quite clearly deals with domestic violence. A woman with both a missing tooth and a swollen black eye is placing a man into a chest freezer. He’s not quite fitting yet – the legs are protruding from the right hand side.

When originally installed the artwork had several key real life props to go with it. Most noticeably was a full size chest freezer, but alongside this there was a broken chair and a frying pan appearing in Banksy’s own photograph (above). These quickly disappeared, in fact the local council received much criticism for the difference in speed with which they removed the freezer compared with the normal timescales for dealing with fly tipping. This led to the freezer, once made safe, returning for a brief period of time before it disappeared altogether.

Bereft of its central prop the legs hung in the air. Enterprising photographers moved nearby bins in place instead which worked to a point and then a local turned up with a replacement fridge freezer – a little too small but a welcome try. The piece was then perspexed and this is where I finally managed to get there to take some photos.

Banksy Margate location
Banksy Margate – location of piece
Banksy Margate Replacement Freezer
Banksy ‘Valentines Day Mascara’ in Margate (with replacement freezer)
Banksy selfie
Banksy in Margate – the piece was quickly sought out for photos and selfies
Banksy Margate Gloves
Banksy Margate – she is wearing domestic gloves but for reasons other than the usual use
Banksy Margate feet
Legs are found protruding out of the freezer as the man hasn’t quite fitted into the freezer cavity yet

By the time I’d found something to prop the other fridge freezer door open the sun was well and truly up and the perspex’s reflections were in full effect.

Banksy Margate, perspexed
Banksy in Margate – with perspex applied. Something of a nightmare when the sun is out.

The piece lasted in situ for a few more days but eventually it was cut out of the wall. It’s since been reunited with the original chest freezer and is on display once more at the nearby Dreamland park. When it’s finished its run here its likely to be sold.

The current owner, Julian Usher of Red Eight Gallery, previously told the PA news agency that the homeowner stipulated that they wished for a local charity supporting prevention of domestic abuse against women to benefit, along with the piece being used to raise awareness in Margate and nationally.

Local MP for North Thanet, Roger Gale, told the PA press agency at the time ““I think it’s an extremely impressive and extremely clever piece of art. And I hope and believe that it can and it should be preserved and displayed safely so that as many people as possible can see it.”

Time will tell where it ends up next.

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