New Banksy Pub Mural Is A Fake

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.

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  • http://skitster.blogspot.com/ Scott Wood

    I thought it looked more like a pastiche than an original. And Banksey is all about pub space, not a pub beer garden.

  • http://www.tiredoflondontiredoflife.com/ Tomtiredoflondon

    I was in the Princess of Wales last night. Shame I missed you, and this.

    To be honest, I always think a better question to ask about graffiti than “Is it a Banksy?” is “Is it any good?”.

    It’s not particularly clever, or artistic, and why would a clever graffiti artist do it in a newly decorated pub garden, rather than a neglected space, or somewhere with a bit more meaning?

  • http://www.tiredoflondontiredoflife.com/ Tomtiredoflondon

    And also, where did he get the power for his spotlight?

    You hear stories about people with new pub gardens organising these sorts of things as publicity stunts…

  • http://undefined waisted

    First clue to fakery is location me thinks – Primrose Hill?!

    • M@

      Well, his canal pieces are only about 200 metres away, and the ‘Banksy Maid’ was just 5 minutes walk away in Chalk Farm.

  • http://undefined Amanda Farah

    “(David Miliband lives just one street away, under armed guard)”

    Oh! I always wondered why/who there were so many men with machine guns lurking about for when I’d wander around there.

  • http://undefined Al

    This is so obviously a lame copy of a banksy. A good time to get a bit of publicity for a pub to coincide with the world cup. As an image it’s poorly drawn, too sharply defined and doesn’t have the stripped back simplicity of Banksy’s work. Still, it will probably have the gullible media tarts of Primrose Hill queuing up at the bar to see the ‘latest’ art sensation two years too late.