Banksy Turf War Exhibition, London 2003

Banksy – Turf War Exhibition, London 2003

Banksy’s Turf War exhibition ran briefly in a run down warehouse in London back in 2003. The location (Kingsland Road, Hackney / Dalston) was kept a secret until the last moment and it controversially featured live painted animals. It was open to the public from Friday 18th July for a four days but closed down early by the end of the weekend. Banksy commented at the time “I’m assuming the cops will come down at some point but I’ll be long gone by then,” and indeed they did. They were responding to reports that protestors had locked themselves to the pens containing pigs with police markings, cows with Warhol motifs and sheep daubed in concentration camp clothing styles.

Banksy was quoted in the media at the time:

“I’m doing it because I can. Painting sucks, art sucks – hopefully I’ll get out of it soon and find something a bit more worthwhile do to with my time.” Banksy, 2003

“I don’t like the gallery system and the value of art these days seems to come down to whether one millionaire likes it or not.” Banksy, 2003

Banksy - Turf War sign

Banksy Turf War sign

Banksy CCTV notice at Turf War

On entering the show visitors were reminded of ever present CCTV in London

Banksy Che with rotating eyes

Che Guervara – a long term favourite image for stencils. Che is given a new take in this painting by the addition of hypnotic rotating eyes.

Banksy - concentration camp sheep

Banksy concentration camp victims wearing lipstick (explained in Wall and Piece) and sheep painted in a similar style.

Banksy Girl with dynamite ice cream

Banksy Girl with ice cream

Banksy - modified sign depicting a cow and a parachute at Turf War

Banksy parachute cow at Turf War

Banksy - Coldstream guard urinating

Banksy -Coldstream guard urinating

Banksy cockroaches

Banksy cockroaches at Turf War

Banksy suicide bomber modified oil painting

Banksy suicide bomber modified painting

Banksy camp modified oil painting

Banksy chimp drinking petrol – modified oil painting.

Banksy - Mines Modified oil painting

Banksy Mines modified oil painting

Police on site after animal rights protestors chained themselves to the bars of an exhibit

Police on site after animal rights protestors chained themselves to the bars of an exhibit

Banksy Turf War protestors

Animal rights protestors chaining themselves to the railings as part of a protest.

Banksy - Police at Turf War

Police at Turf War – with a painted Police van in the background!

Painted Police van at Turf War

Banksy – painted Police van at Turf War

Banksy - Police officer taking notes

Banksy – Police officer taking notes stencil at Turf War

Banksy - Turf War

Anarchy in the West Country – like many other Banksy exhibitions scrap vehicles were repurposed as part of the exhibits

Banksy - petrol head

Banksy – petrol shot. This image later appeared on a banner at Brian Haw’s anti war protest in Parliament Square and as part of the artwork series for Blur’s Think Tank album.

Banksy painted cow at Turf War

Banksy painted cow at Turf War

Banksy painted cow

Painted cow with a mask and prison markings

banksy - Warhol cow

Banksy – Cow with repetitive Andy Warhol markings

Banksy painted pigs

Sleeping pigs painted with Police chequered markings. The live animals were responsible for most if not all of the media coverage for the event. As far as I was concerned they were not being mistreated – they certainly were in better condition than millions of other animals up and down the country on any given day.

Banksy - Diving helmet couple on card

So much time, so little to say – Banksy at Turf War

Banksy cop car on bricks

Banksy – Police car on bricks (on cardboard)

Banksy Kill More baby on cardboard

Banksy – Kill More baby on cardboard

Banksy - Space Girl and Bird on cardboard

Banksy child and bird on Cardboard

Banksy - Thug Lovin' on cardboard at Turf War

Banksy – ‘Thug Lovin’

Banksy - Toxic Mary

Banksy – Toxic Mary on cardboard

Banksy - Laugh now but one day we'll be in charge

Banksy – Laugh Now But One Day We’ll Be In Charge (on wood pallet)

Banksy - Flying coppers

Banksy Flying Coppers at Turf War

Banksy - flying coppers at Turf War

Flying coppers across the ceiling at Turf War with the centre piece of a Winston Churchill sporting a turf mohican in the background

Banksy Uck the Police

This one supplied Banksy’s visual trick with “uck tha police” turning into “good luck to tha police” depending on where you were standing.

Banksy Cut Out alarm

Banksy ‘Cut Out…” alarm wall

Banksy - The Dunce

Rodin, the Thinker (with traffic cone). Inspired by Tesco’s Buy One Get One Free (or BOGOF campaign) Banksy has moved into sculpture. The idea was to make two sculptures one to be sold and one to be donated to the public. A version of this later turned up in several locations across London.