In 2011 UK graffiti artist Banksy created a work of art by spraying the words ‘This Looks A Bit Like An Elephant’ on a disused water tank, in LA. He was in town for his ‘Academy Award’nominated film ‘Exit Through the giftshop’. Turns out that a homeless guy had been living inside the tank for years. The tank instantly became a valuable work of art and was taken away and sold. In reality this made a man homeless.
By making a statement did Banksy end up making a man homeless? Now a play which has had a successful run at the Edinburgh festival and features Gary Beadle from Eastenders has made a sold out splash. Directed by Emma Callander (Theatre Uncut) and written by Tom Wainwright (Pedestrian) with a soundtrack of Massive Attack, Portishead and Roni Size. The play, closed on the 26 August received critical acclaim.
Tachowa Covington the central character lived in a water tank in the Hollywood hills for seven years. His life was radically altered when the British graffiti artist Banksy created a mural on his digs. He was later evicted as the work of art became a valuable commodity.
This one-man show, performed by Gary Beadle, who spends much of his time talking to a pet rat is extremely intuitive and thought provoking. It covers both the issues of homelessness and the increasingly unmanageable art market.
As a post script Banksy tracked down Tachowa Covington and handed him a wad of cash as a sort of relocation fee!