Banksy’s No Ball Games

Photo by Romanywg
Photo by Romanywg

Well this is now two new Banksy pieces on the street in one week (see: Ikea Punk) (and three in about a month) and the 3rd 4th (UPDATE: Thanks to Mick for sending this image of the piece at the Barely Legal show from 2006) iteration of his “No Ball Games” image.

First there was this piece up for sale at the Dreweatts Urban Art Auction in March. If I remember correctly the piece was for charity and direct from Banksy:

Ball Games Auction
Photo by s.butterfly

Then there was this piece at Banksy Versus The Bristol Museum. If you look carefully, in some photos of this painting, you can see that Banksy has sprayed over the image of a tv and replaced it with this new sign:

No Ball Games Bristol
Photo by Boxlace

And now with “No Ball Games” on the street (somewhere in London), it is looking great and truly where it belongs. Some pieces work well indoors, some work well outdoors. Banksy knows this. Yesterday’s post about his “Ikea Punk” is a good example of this point.

At Banksy Versus The Bristol Museum, there was a stencil piece of an anarchist being helped by his grandmother who was getting him dressed for a protest, and it was perfect for being inside. With “Ikea Punk”, that is an image (involving a similar character) that only works outside.

“No Ball Games” (IMHO) didn’t work as well indoors because for one thing that green background wasn’t enjoyable to look at, and for another thing that’s just the kind of joke that fits perfectly on a wall somewhere. Not to say this wouldn’t make a nice screen print, but like a sketch by Blu, what you’d really be buying is a nice piece of work and a memory of what the piece looks like outdoors.

Another reason I prefer this image outdoors instead of at Banksy Versus the Bristol Museum is that I’m a fool. When I saw that piece at the Bristol Museum and noticed that it was the same piece that was at Dreweatts but repainted slightly, I got the idea of a tv in my mind, and thought that the “No Ball Games” sign was a flat screen television. The mind plays tricks on us / I’m lazy. And I didn’t think the piece worked as well with a flat screen tv. Clearly though, after thinking about the piece for 2 seconds, you can see that a street sign is being thrown, not a flat screen tv, and the piece outdoors makes that even more clear.

Is this just the start of Banksy’s renewed work in London? Let’s hope so.