The Banksy mural known as ‘Hula-hoop Girl’ that appeared on a residential street in Nottingham last October has been hacked from the wall and sold by the building’s owner, for a six-figure sum.
Locals witnessed it being removed from a wall in Rothesay Avenue at 5:00 am GMT. John Brandler, a gallery owner, revealed that he purchased the piece, on behalf of a client. He used the age-old excuse that he wanted to help preserve it, and put it on display. Residents nearby were shocked by the removal of the artwork that became a tourist attraction during the pandemic which saw most galleries shut for the better part of a year. A local told Artlyst, ” It cheered me up every time I walked by the painting”.
Resident Dan Golstein told the BBC that workmen were “drilling into the wall” in the early hours. The artwork was then seen being loaded into the back of a van.
The gallerist added that the workers were part of a “very specialised company” that has removed Banksy art before. Mr Brandler is thought to have sold the mural to a collector who owns several of the artists’ pieces, including Seasons Greetings, which he bought from a garage wall in Port Talbot in 2019.
The wall has been boarded up, and the collector claims he removed it “in time” before damp could cause damage under the plastic cover put on by Nottingham City Council.
“If you put Perspex over a picture the moisture gets into the brick wall and can’t escape – the wall needs to breathe,” he said.
Mr Brandler said he planned to feature the piece in a street exhibition later this year at the Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
City rejuvenation board, The Nottingham Project, said they had been in touch with Banksy’s team – Pest Control – since the mural appeared, and they believed its removal would go against his wishes.
Pest Control, the authentication branch of Banksy’s art practice has stated that they will never authenticate artworks removed from their original place of execution by the artist.
Banksy’s stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, or anti-establishment. Subjects often include rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly. They are highly charged and usually political by nature. Banksy is an anonymous graffiti artist from Bristol, who uses subversive epigrams and dark humour to provide political and social commentary on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy authentication and artist enquiries or reports of stolen work should be directed to Pest Control.
Top Photo: Courtesy Banksy