The street art activity during 2004 is mainly focused on London. Two pieces in Brighton, and two in Somerset. There are only two pieces outside the UK in 2004, one piece documented in Berlin and another one in Chicago. One of Banksy’s most iconic pieces goes up in Southbank, “The girl with the red balloon”.
Photos: “Wall and piece”.
Santa’s Ghetto 2003 opened on December 2 in an abandoned store just off Carnaby Street in London. Contained work by Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, Mode 2 and 3D among others. Described by Pictures on Walls as a “festive extravaganza of cheap art and related novelty goods from lowbrow artists and trained vandals”. The launch party attracted Damon Albarn and Alex James of Blur, and star chef Jamie Oliver.
Christ with shopping bags
Photos: Wembley Pairs, Flickr
On October 17, Banksy entered Tate Britain disguised as a pensioner and stuck one of his own creations in a vacant slot on one of the gallery’s walls. After a few hours the painting, “Crimewatch UK Has Ruined the Countryside For All of Us”, crashed to the floor and the stunt was discovered.
“To actually go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It’s a lot more fun to go and put your own one up. It’s all about cutting out the middle man, or the curator in the case of the Tate.”
Banksy at Tate Britain
Finding the slot
Hanging his work
“I’m kinda into the message that vandalising a painting with police tape is how a lot of people see the world these days. People don’t actually see the world with Constable’s eyes with hay and rivers any more. The amount of paranoia and fear about violent crime and paedophilia makes mine a more accurate drawing of the English landscape we actually live in.”
A caption glued next to the painting read: “This new acquisition is a beautiful example of the neo post-idiotic style. Little is known about Banksy whose work is inspired by cannabis resin and daytime television.”
Opened on July 18 and lasted for three days. Turf War is Banksy’s first major exhibition where he displays a great variety of different techniques and styles. Marks the beginning of a string of brilliant exhibitions with a periodicity of approximately two years. Turf War in 2003, Crude Oils, 2005, Barely Legal, 2006, Banksy vs Bristol Museum 2009, etc. The live cows and sheep are transported from the Somerset farm. There is also a section of “modified oils”, the most prominent being “Suicide bombers just need a hug”. The London art critics call the exhibitions one of the most interesting of the year.
Flyer – Turf War
Turf War – Overview
Silent Night – Turf War
Live Cows – Turf War
Photos: http://www.artofthestate.co.uk and Benny Goh
Banksy goes to a farm in Somerset to spraypaint live animals for his upcoming Turf War exhibition in London. Animal rights activists chain themselves to the railings surrounding the farm. “The cattle are show cattle donated by the farmer and he was happy to lend them,” says a spokeswoman for the exhibition.
Banksy’s focus is still in London with a few a pieces appearing in Bristol and in Brighton. The iconic piece Pulp Fiction goes up in 2002 on Old Street in Shoreditch, one of Banksy’s preferred areas in London. The Royal Guards in different areas in London are from the same period.
Bombhugger in Brighton
Banksy distributes placards with “I don’t believe in anything. I’m just here for the violence” at a May Day anti-war demonstration in London.