Banksy – If Graffiti Changed Anything – It Would Be Illegal. Location – corner of Clipstone Street and Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, London. STATUS – Removed
Banksy’s ‘If graffiti changed anything – it would be illegal’ was believed to be installed overnight on Monday 25th April 2011 and was placed right next to a busy garage. It depicts a rat who has just finished painting a slogan based on the old anarchist saying first coined by late Russian-Canadian political activist Emma Goldman: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
The rat had red paint dripping from its hand and unusually there is a rendition of its hand print on the wall too. At the time of painting the colour and detail on the rat was a cut above most of Banksy’s rat stencils to this date.
The wall it was painted on was already breaking up and peeling at the time of installation and the piece was soon covered in plexiglass for protection. It’s decay continued and eventually the section of the wall it was painted on was professionally removed by Erith Contractors (who were actually up for an award for this as part of the World Demolition Awards in 2020) and the building itself has since been demolished.
‘If Graffiti Changed Anything – It Would Be Illegal’ appeared to be confirmed by Banksy after he posted an image of it on banksy.co.uk
All photos – Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk