The anonymous street artist Banksy posted his new work on Instagram on December 10. It depicts an elderly woman in a scarf sneezing so hard that her bag and cane fall out of her hand and a false jaw flies out of her mouth. The work is called “Ah-apchhhh!”
The house with Banksy’s new work is at the beginning of a street with a steep rise, and the photos on the artist’s Instagram are made to look as if an elderly woman’s sneeze caused neighboring houses to tumble sideways and a passerby with an umbrella to fall to the ground. In less than 24 hours, the work collected two million likes on Instagram.
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Graffiti appeared in Bristol. Vale Street, where it is located, is considered the steepest residential street in England. Its slope is 22 degrees. At Easter, it becomes the site of an annual painted egg rolling tournament (it looks like this).
Vale Street resident Dale Comley told the BBC that he looked out his window early on the morning of December 10 and saw a “big guy” in a reflective jacket staring at the wall of a house on a street corner. Comley mistook him for a “keen worker.” But an hour later he noticed a crowd of people outside looking at the graffiti.
Banksy’s work has already been covered with a transparent plastic screen for preservation. Commentators on the artist’s Instagram suggested that the owner of the house on which the graffiti appeared would become a millionaire. Art dealer Joey Sayer, who specializes in Banksy’s work, estimated the value of “Ah-apchhhh!” at 3-5 million pounds ($4-6.5 million).
Recently, the house on which the graffiti was painted was put up for sale. Before that, the value of the property on Vail Street did not exceed 400 thousand pounds sterling (530 thousand dollars).
This is Banksy’s eighth graffiti on the streets of Bristol. Local publication BristolLive announced a search for a man with an umbrella, who is shown in one of the photos of the new work on the artist’s Instagram.
Journalists have decided that Banksy’s new graffiti, like his previous works, is about the covid pandemic. “[The work appeared] two days after Britons began receiving the first doses of a vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech and seems to clearly hint that, despite one step toward collective immunity, citizens must continue to wear masks to avoid spreading the deadly virus through droplets of saliva,” Artnet.
The owner of a Bristol apartment building, 57-year-old Eileen Makin, took her property off the market after the latest work by famed street artist Banksy appeared on one wall.
The graffiti, dubbed “Ugh!” depicts an old lady sneezing with such force that her bag, stick, and dentures fly away. And since Vale Street, where the house is located, is known as the street with the steepest incline in Britain (the famous boiled egg rolling competition is held there every year), it seems as if a bogatyr sneeze is blowing away the neighboring houses as well.
As the morning wore on, people started crowding in and taking pictures next to her. Hours later, Banksy confirmed his authorship on Instagram.
Since his work often hints at current events, it was suggested that the sneezing grandmother was thematically related to the coronavirus pandemic. Graffiti Aachoo!!! – is not Banksy’s first work reminiscent of the pandemic. He painted in support of doctors and also decorated a subway car with rats in masks – but that work was almost immediately washed away by subway workers, not knowing it should be considered a work of art.
“I heard about it on the news and immediately went to see it,” said Jason Bartlett, 47, who has lived in the neighborhood all his life. – I’ve always been a big fan.
The famous master of street art, who performs under the pseudonym Banksy, began spray-painting houses and public transport cars in Bristol in the 1990s and has since made his mark in many cities around the world.
Interest in his work is fueled by the fact that he has remained anonymous for more than 20 years.
Serious art critics analyze each of his works, speculating on what he wanted to say with this or that drawing.
There is a circumstantial belief that he is a Bristol native.
Banksy’s previous painting appeared in Nottingham on October 13. It depicted a girl spinning a bicycle tire instead of a Hawaiian hula hoop.
Mrs. Makin had already found a buyer willing to pay £300,000 for her house and was expected to sign the papers of sale next week. However, after Banksy’s graffiti appeared on the wall, she withdrew her property from the sale.
According to estimates by experts cited by the Daily Mail, with a painting by Banksy, the price of the house could be up to five million pounds.
Eileen Makin’s son Nicholas told the ITV News West Country television program that he and his half-brother rushed to protect the painting with a Plexiglas screen and intend to contact a security firm.
He added that his mother was not happy about the public’s attention to the house and that they needed time to decide what to do next.
Graffiti Wars: Who Destroys Banksy’s Masterpieces and Why?
Graffiti artists can be divided into followers of one of two approaches. Some call themselves taggers and seek the adrenaline and glory of spray-painting their name on a train car. Others believe that graffiti is art, and create elaborate paintings full of philosophical meaning. Two views, two methods, two worlds. The war was inevitable.
Banksy, the famous graffiti artist, the most expensive contemporary artist, became one of the main participants in the graffiti wars. Let’s try to understand: who they are, Banksy’s haters, why they deface his work, and whether Banksy himself is so innocent.
The Battle of King Robbo
It all started in 2009. On the wall of the Regent’s Canal in London, Banksy painted one of his famous works: he painted over some of the old graffiti and drew a wallpaper-painter unrolling another roll. He would later claim that he didn’t know he was painting one of the few surviving graffiti of King Robbo, a veteran London tagger.
Under cover of night, King Robbo in a diving suit made his way to the graffiti on the canal wall in an inflatable raft and changed the “wallpaper” to his own name “King Robbo.” Some time later, Banksy retaliated and turned the writing into “Fucking Robbo.”
After a while, Banksy retaliated and turned the sign into “Fucking Robbo”.
New York vs.
The war for New York City began in the spring of 2010. Banksy’s work appeared in various parts of the city, but after a short time, they were all painted over – in whole or in part – by New York taggers.
A graffiti artist known as Omar painted over Banksy’s “Doctor” and signed “Team Robbo,” continuing the war that began on the other side of the ocean.
Other taggers also decided to immortalize themselves on Banksy’s work. An unidentified person stenciled several murals demanding the release of a member of the New York street artist group Poster Boy who had been convicted of vandalism.
None of Banksy’s New York murals remained untouched.
The failure of 2010 did not stop Banksy, and in October 2013 he returned to New York to stage the largest exhibition of his work, Better Outside Than Inside. Within a month Banksy was painting a new graffiti, sculpture, or installation on the streets of New York every night. The haters didn’t fall behind.
For a month, Banksy drew a new graffiti, sculpture, or installation on the streets of New York every night. The haters didn’t lag behind.
The already familiar Omar was once again defacing Banksy’s drawings. This time he didn’t just leave his signature but also filmed his actions on video. His assistant even pretended to be a reporter and interviewed passersby while Omar tagged Banksy’s murals.
The vandalism angered Banksy’s fans, and they took action. The hapless graffiti artist known under the pseudonym STF was dragged off while trying to deface one of his works.
Vigilant New Yorkers grabbed the vandal, threw him to the ground and called the police, but the graffiti artist managed to escape.
Vigilantes in New York City grabbed the vandal, threw him to the ground and called the police, but the graffiti artist was able to escape before the police arrived on the scene. Banksy’s work was cleaned of fresh paint and restored to its original state.
Despite the vigilance of fans, most of Banksy’s work that appeared in New York in 2013 was defaced.
Try to make it better
In April 2007, transport workers in London painted over one of Banksy’s most famous murals, Pulp Fiction. It depicted the main characters of the famous movie with bananas in their hands instead of guns.
At the time, the London Transport Authority began a tough fight against graffiti as one of the signs of “social decadence. For transport workers, Banksy’s mural was just another piece of graffiti.
Then Banksy painted a new interpretation of the scene on the same spot. Now Travolta and Jackson’s characters were holding real guns, but they themselves were dressed in banana suits.
The new work lasted only a few days before it was painted over again, but not by transportation workers, but by a young graffiti artist known by the pseudonym Ozone. “If the job is better next time, I’ll keep it,” Ozone wrote in the right-hand corner.
“If the next time the work is better, I’ll keep it,” Ozone wrote.
The young artist did not have time to evaluate Banksy’s new work: he died under the wheels of a train while trying to paint another graffiti in the London Underground.
Ozon’s tragic death did not leave Banksy indifferent, and one of his best murals – an angel in a bulletproof vest with a skull in his hands – appeared on the site of “Pulp Fiction”.
“When we lost Ozone, we lost a fearless graffiti artist and, as it turns out, a pretty astute art critic,” Banksy wrote on his website immediately after the tragedy.
The war goes on
Fans of Banksy’s work organized a movement to protect his work. They began to install plastic shields on the walls with the famous murals in an attempt to preserve them.
But even such measures did not stop the vandals. In Melbourne, vandals poured paint over Banksy’s work, and the plexiglass sheet they had installed to protect it didn’t stop them. On top, the vandals wrote, tagger-style, ‘Banksy was here’.
In Bristol, on the day of an auction at which several of Banksy’s works were sold, unknown assailants fired a paintball gun at the city’s beloved “Lovers” mural.
Photo: David Nicol / Flickr
But it’s not only his brothers who deface Banksy’s work. They are “helped” by the authorities, janitors, construction workers, and unknown vandals. Of the more than two hundred street works listed on Banksy’s official website, less than half have survived. The value of what remains is growing by the day, and art advocates continue to look for ways to save Banksy’s murals. The war continues but on a new level.
Photo: David Nicol / Flickr