Thursday 8 May 2014


There is something in all of us that loves to love a criminal, one with good intentions of course. (Did I wake you up with that proclamation?). Don’t be so aghast, you know you have always found yourself rooting for the archetypal Robinhood or drawn to the bad guy in a film or TV show as long as his intentions were sound (who doesn’t want to blur the lines and buck the system now and then).

A recent article in the press brought to light one such ‘criminal,’as the government deems him, (everyone else refers to him as an artist, politician and documentarian), and showed yet again how his life’s work has had a positive influence on society at large. No stranger to press, Banksy, as he is well known around the world, has spent his life in anonymity. His grafitti art for that matter is anything but. Harkening from Bristol, England in 1974, Banksy has become synonymous with social satire, political activism and contemptuous rebellion in the form of street art and installations. In the last few years he's branched out to filmmaking and had a documentary film nominated for the Academy Award. The mere fact that he’s managed to do all this and remain anonymous is by and large a reason to admire the man.

Recently, a piece of his graffiti art has come under dispute between a Bristol Boy's Club and the Bristol City Council. The piece reffered to as the Mobile Lovers was admittedly painted by Banksy in the doorway of the Boys Club. The Council of course was soon to step forward and try to stake claim to the piece saying it was on their property. Coming out of hiding, so to speak, to pen a letter, Banksy wrote to the head of the boys club, a move that surprised many as it is very out of character, and said the Boys Club could do “what they feel is right” with the piece. Dennis Stinchcombe, the head of the Club was understandably delighted upon receiving the letter.

In the letter, Banksy not only admitted to “committing criminal damage” but stated that he is a huge admirer of the Boys Club and wanted to help raise funds for them in any way he could. The letter ends (in kick ass fashion I must say) with a  quote from Abraham Lincoln which states, “'Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle." As I said, you have to love the man’s chutzpah.

Dennis Stinchcombe was told the work could fetch up to £4 million pounds, which as you can imagine would be a definitive boost to the financial bottom line of the club. He also claimed that Banksy in his youth was a frequent visitor to several boys clubs in Bristol, including one he ran, and his support of them through his art is nothing less than ‘lovely.’ Said like a true Englishman.

Obviously someone like Banksy is a controversial figure by the sheer nature of what he does to public buildings, bridges and landmarks, but it must be said, that most of our history’s rebellious activists did just that, they channeled their message through a medium that would reach the most people and truly piss off the establishment. Go on, admit it, it makes the little rebel inside of you smile just a little bit, doesn’t it?

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed