Minutes after pressing “Publish” on my last post, I came across more information about the Banksy piece that was removed in LA.
JetSet Graffiti has this video of the artwork being removed:
JetSet Graffiti have also been able to determine that the artwork was removed by Ace Gallery. I don’t know much about Ace Gallery, but what I have heard hasn’t been positive. As JetSet notes, “Famous for treating his bills as if they didn’t exist; Since 1976, [Ace Gallery owner Doug Christmas] has been sued 55 times by artists, other dealers and art collectors, according to a profile in 2009 in the LA Weekly.” Another interesting tidbit is that if you call the phone number listed on the side of the building for those interested in renting or buying the space, it connects you to Ace Gallery. So I wonder what’s up with that?
JetSet Graffiti has more details on their website.
My take? Don’t be that guy who buys a street piece. If you’re one of the collectors considering buying this artwork, just consider what you’re supporting. And besides, the artwork was never confirmed as a Banksy. It’s not like Banksy’s style can’t be replicated. It would’ve been easy enough for Ace Gallery to fake the whole thing (except that the art world is a small place). And the third (and kind of disappointing) possibility: Banksy’s no idiot. In fact I’d say he’s pretty damn smart, and his people are too. If he did paint that spot, did everyone in his employ really miss that the building Banksy was painting on is connected with Ace Gallery? I hope so.
I think this is one of those art mysteries that we’ll never fully know the answer to.