BBC reports: Smashed Banksy Balloon Girl mural in Nottingham exhibition

By ARC Magazine Friday, November 9th, 2012 Categories: Exhibitions, Reports, Updates

A defaced mural by the graffiti artist Banksy has resurfaced in an exhibition at an art gallery in Nottingham. The Jamaican artist who created the installation claims to have been the first person to reveal Banksy’s identity, by photographing him in 2004. Peter Dean Rickards bought the wall which featured the mural from a bar in Kingston and intentionally smashed it.

The installation has been made to look like a garage in which the mural was stored for several years after being cut down

The exhibition, at the New Art Exchange, celebrates 50 years of Jamaican independence. Curator of the exhibition Rachael Barrett said: “Most Jamaican people didn’t really understand why it [the mural] would be a valuable work of art. “The artist, Peter Dean [Rickards], is questioning this fake sense of value and obsession with celebrity we’ve got.”

The mural was a version of Banksy’s Balloon Girl. Mr Rickards paid about £1,500 for the wall “in cash and rum”, Ms Barrett said. Banksy is thought to have painted it in Jamaica’s capital in 2004.

Listen to interview with Rachael Barrett here.

Secret identity

Mr Rickards claims to have photographed Banksy at work while he was in Kingston. In 2008 the Mail on Sunday claimed to have worked out Banksy’s identity from one of the photos, and named him as former public school pupil Robin Gunningham. Also in 2008, it was reported that Mr Rickards had allowed a dog to defecate on the artwork after he bought the wall. A video of him removing the mural plays on loop alongside the installation in Nottingham. The smashed wall is displayed in the corner of a room, which has been made to look like the garage in which it was stored for several years after being cut down.

Mr Rickards is quoted in the exhibition notes as saying: “That was done by a guy in the UK named Banksy.”The white people love him there and he sells stuff like that for thousands of pounds. Lets cut it down!” The exhibition, called I Is AnOther, is on until 8 December.

Original post from the BBC.

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.