The video of the hit was posted on Banksy’s Instagram on 14 July with the title “London Underground – undergoes deep clean”. It depicts Banksy entering an underground train carriage while dressed as a member of the cleanup crew. Banksy paints a rat sneezing, while the other rats struggle to get their masks on. At the end of the clip, we see the words “I get lockdown, but I get up again” sprayed on the doors of the carriage, referring to Chumbawamba’s hit Tubthumping from 1997.
“Transport for London confirmed on Tuesday evening that the work was removed “some days ago” due to strict anti-graffiti policy, but that it would welcome Banksy to recreate his message “in a suitable location”.
Banksy’s former agent and official photographer released his much-anticipated book in December 2019. “Banksy Captured” comes with plenty of previously unpublished photographs of Banksy and some amusing anecdotes from different street art adventures. It certainly is a must-read for any person interested in the early days of British street art.
Steve Lazarides is interviewed in an upcoming documentary, “Banksy and the rise of outlaw art,” to be released in February 2020. The film features, among others, street art legend and “Pictures on Walls” printer Ben Eine. Click for the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az9ttLyQe9E
By the way, Banksy’s unaltered voice at the beginning of the above-mentioned trailer is strikingly similar to the voice of the person presented as Banksy in an interview done at the Turf War exhibition in July 2003. Reporter Haig Gordon did the interview for ITV, but the footage was reported to have been forgotten in the ITV archive for 16 years until it surfaced in 2019:
This line of thought in the “Who is Banksy?” mystery is supported by some of the photographs in Lazarides’ new book, especially one on page 154 depicting Banksy consistent with the alleged Banksy in the resuscitated ITV interview. Whether this person is “one of the Banksys” or “the Banksy” will never be known. The puzzle is part of the overall artistic expression, in which we all play a role.
British artist James Ame, a.k.a Ame72, was caught on photo in early December by a British tourist outside the Milk Grotto chapel in Bethlehem, in front of a recently confirmed artwork by Banksy. Mr Ame is holding a spray can and part of a stencil which seems to fit with the star in the artwork.
James Ame participated in an exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides, in Herzliya Marina in Tel Aviv in March 2017, the same month that Walled Off Hotel opened in Bethlehem just 80 km from Tel Aviv. Steve Lazarides is Banksy’s former agent. According to James Ame’s website – http://www.ame72.com – he also participated in The Cans Festival in London, the collective street art exhibition organized by Banksy in May 2008. A publicity stunt by Steve L, or, is James Ame a member of the Banksy street art crew?