New Liverpool ‘Banksy’ turns out to be a fake
Just weeks after a Banksy artwork had been identified in Liverpool’s city centre, Liverpudlians were once again titillated by the prospect of having another. At first glance, the black-and-white image of a slouching man in a hoodie and tracksuit bottoms, trailing a plug, seemed to bear all the hallmarks of the street artist’s signature style. And so Banksy enthusiasts yesterday flocked from near and far to see this new piece of art for themselves. As one exclaimed: ‘As soon as there is a new Banksy in the area it almost adds to the cultural relevance of the place. It is quite exciting.’
But, with images circulating the internet, it didn’t take long for Twitter users to debunk the myth, linking the artwork to a Birmingham-based artist known as ‘Mustard Tiger’. Mustard Tiger has posted at least four very similar pieces in London and Birmingham. One tweet from Matt Maybury, for example, who writes a street art column for London’s Planet Notion magazine, said; ‘That’s definitely not Banksy, a couple from Brum do this character. I have photos from years ago of it.’
And crucially, the piece is has not been published on Banksy’s website – the only sure-fire sign of authentification that Banksy fans have at their disposal.
Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Most recently the artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.
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