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
On entering the show visitors were reminded of ever present CCTV in London
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 victims wearing lipstick (explained in Wall and Piece) and sheep painted in a similar style.
Banksy Girl with ice cream
Banksy parachute cow at Turf War
Banksy -Coldstream guard urinating
Banksy cockroaches at Turf War
Banksy suicide bomber modified painting
Banksy chimp drinking petrol – modified oil painting.
Banksy Mines modified oil painting
Police on site after animal rights protestors chained themselves to the bars of an exhibit
Animal rights protestors chaining themselves to the railings as part of a protest.
Police at Turf War – with a painted Police van in the background!
Banksy – painted Police van at Turf War
Banksy – Police officer taking notes stencil at Turf War
Anarchy in the West Country – like many other Banksy exhibitions scrap vehicles were repurposed as part of the exhibits
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
Painted cow with a mask and prison markings
Banksy – Cow with repetitive Andy Warhol markings
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.
So much time, so little to say – Banksy at Turf War
Banksy – Police car on bricks (on cardboard)
Banksy – Kill More baby on cardboard
Banksy child and bird on Cardboard
Banksy – ‘Thug Lovin’
Banksy – Toxic Mary on cardboard
Banksy – Laugh Now But One Day We’ll Be In Charge (on wood pallet)
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
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 wall
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.