Banksy proves beauty is in the eye of the beholder

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It has always been true that one man’s thrash is another man’s treasure, but it was terribly evident on the gable end of a building close to London’s Finsbury Park, as two separate coats of randomly administered paint drew radically different responses.

Because the first splash of green paint drew the reaction you’d have expected after Michelangelo finished painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – and the subsequent dollop of white was greeted with the sort of enthusiasm you’d anticipate if you’d stood in dog poo.

Because the green was ‘painted’ by the street artist Banksy, and the white was lashed on by some randomer who must have felt it was open season after the initial paint-burst.

Banksy’s was clever in that, from a certain angle behind the stump of a dead tree, the green suggested it was back in full bloom – but up close, and apart from the green man he’d painted in the corner, it was just paint splashed on a wall.

In truth, the wall needed more than paint because the plaster is peeling off it anyway, so it was unlikely that Banksy’s work would have lasted half as long as the roof of the Sistine Chapel.

And maybe the mysterious street artist might even have appreciated the splash of white on the basis that he loves to shake things up himself.

He had famously included a hidden shredder on his work, Girl with Balloon, which meant that as soon as it sold for a then-record $1.4 million in 2018, the picture started to slip out of its frame into shreds below.

Banksy said he’d built the shredder into the painting’s frame in case it ever sold at auction.

So he might even appreciate a little radicalism, even if it come in the shape of a bloke with a pot of white paint.



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