It’s a case of graffiti cannibalism. The stencil of a young girl frightened by a rat, presumably painted by British street art star Banksy on North Villere Street near Basin Street in 2008, has been ruined by a routine tag.
|Banksy's 2008 stencil of a girl frightened by a rat has been blotted out by a graffiti tag. (Doug MacCash / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)|
It’s impossible to attribute the 2008 stencils to Banksy with absolute certainty, since the internationally acclaimed artist sometimes operates on the wrong side of the law and cherishes his anonymity. But most onlookers agree Banksy clandestinely used several New Orleans outdoor locations as canvases during the approach of Hurricane Gustav five years ago.
Many of his cartoons sensitively addressed the city’s struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 flood. Most are now defaced or destroyed.
Banksy is a counterculture hero. He is widely imitated by fellow underground artists and coveted by big time collectors.
A canvas by Banksy is included in the New Orleans Museum of Art collection and one of his street stencils recently sold at auction for more than $1 million.
But apparently not everyone is a fan. The tagger(s) who over painted Banksy’s Treme stencil added the phrase “real graffiti” to the tag, implying a certain disdain for the British outlaw’s narrative style.
Graffiti cannibalism is confusing. Is this a crime against art or poetic justice in spray paint? Tell us what you think in the comments stream below
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