Either that, or the country’s most famous street artist has taken a dive in quality. The mural pictured above appeared yesterday in the ‘secret’ beer garden of The Princess of Wales, a fine pub in the residential part of Primrose Hill (David Miliband lives just one street away, under armed guard). The artist was captured on CCTV, working by lamp light. The result contains many Banksy hallmarks, such as the balloon girl, use of black and red paint and a prominent animal. Cue, the inevitable media coverage.
But is it a Banksy? We think not. The quality of the job seems a bit shabby. Take a look at the balloon girl, for example, and compare to a previous stencilled version (photo 2). With her manly face and withered limbs, this new youngster bears only a weak resemblance to the bona fide Banksy. Add to this that Banksy works normally have some internal meaning or story – what’s with the lion? Also, look at the thread hanging from the balloon. Its curls and twists look suspiciously like a signature or tag to us.
We’re calling fake.
Whoever the artist, the new work didn’t exactly pull in the punters last night. We hovered around for a couple of hours – only six people entered the beer garden in that time, not unusual for a Thursday night in this pub. Its cosy basement bar and ‘secret’ beer garden are certainly under-used and little known, even by locals. Both spaces are worthy of a visit for their own merits, without recourse to a faux-Banksy mural.