Street Art Strikes Back Over Removal Of "Slave Labour" Banksy

By Lindsey Last edited 64 months ago
Street Art Strikes Back Over Removal Of "Slave Labour" Banksy

Earlier in the week we reported on the Banksy that had been removed from the wall on Whymark Avenue, N22 and found itself up for auction in Miami. We mused on whether other pieces of street art would appear in its place and lo, it has come to pass.

First up was a tiny pink dinosaur, swiftly followed by an excellent bit of satirical stencilling.

Intriguingly, last night, another stencil appeared on the same wall and it looks very much like a Banksy rat. If it is the real thing, it surely can't last long. However, the property owner should be wary and remember the fake Banksy rat pandemic of 2009.

On a related note, we'd like to thank our Facebook friend, Giacomo for pointing out the irony in the choice of Whymark Avenue for street art. Especially now the original piece has been removed.

UPDATE: The rat is being perspexed already. Londonist Flickrpool contributor Peep O'Daze took this about 3.15pm.

Many thanks to Antonia Kanczula, Richard McKeever and Peep O'Daze (via Flickr) for the photos.

Last Updated 22 February 2013


Can't believe they are stealing the rat now !! FFS !

J fremlin

You know exactly who would buy the stolen art? Hipsters! Why? Because that piece of art, is now the most ironic piece of art ever made. Street art, that was stolen from a wall, now sold for 444, 000 $. Now THAT'S IRONY!! It's the ultimate hipster house accessory!!

Matt Maldre

I'd like to know who owns that building.

Ravish London


The cultural cache of street art, or at least of certain street artists, has meant that street
art has now become a commodity, of considerable value, to be bought and traded, and to be treated as an investment. The commodification and value of Banksy’s work, and the absence of any successful attempt to prosecute Banksy, has meant that in effect, he has been able to spray money on to peoples’ property. In 2008 Luti Fagbenle made £208,100 after putting up for auction a piece of work, which Banksy had mounted on the
wall of his Portobello Road office. Now, when, someone finds a piece of street art on their property, they may not necessarily first think about how much it will cost to sandblast the graffiti away, rather they might first stop to think about whether it is a Banksy, and how much they might get for it.

Now some people, rather than enjoying the aesthetics or experience of street art, want to know, "Who did the street art? Was it Banksy?" See, for example, this message posted by Hooked on the internet, "Checked out this new Banksy piece yesterday. Fantastic work and great to see everyone enjoying the piece, had three long conversations with random locals about the pieces while I was taking some pictures. Lots of others kept stopping and asking if we knew who did it or if we were Banksy! ".

The street art scene has created – the coveter –some might call robber – whose mission it is to rip street art off the street– so they can later sell it. That is to say, the ‘interest’ promoted through fashionable circles and the internet, has increased the relative value of the street art, such that some, seeing social and/or financial capital to owning some of this street art have started trying to take it home with them. Ossian Ward writing about Banksy said, ‘Banksy’s signature stencils of kissing coppers, flower-chucking terrorists and mischievous rats found on doorways and side streets have become so sought-after that they are being chipped out of walls and sold for ludicrous sums...’ Artist, Adam
Neate, who claimed to have left his art all over London, anonymously and for free, explained to The Independent that after he had been asked to do a gallery show, and had begun to make a name for himself, "An old man on a bicycle with a basket used to follow me around picking up my paintings. I had to change my route to avoid him."

The Duke of Camden

Ironic that the Thief Banksy should now have his work stolen I do believe that those rat designs are Blek le Rats IP. justice just paint the wall black and be done with it