Infamous Street Artist highlights stock exchange protest with new sculpture
The Street Artist Banksy has unveiled a new sculptural work dedicated to the community of protesters, at the Occupy London movement ‘s camp, at St.Paul’s Cathedral. This is in solidarity with the world wide Anti-Greed protest that has taken over ‘The City,’ London’s Wall Street district. Banksy who is politically pro-active has now given his seal of approval to the protesters, who set up camp last week to highlight corporate greed and corruption.
The work is a 3 dimensional depiction of a Monopoly Board with Mr Money Bags portrayed as a down and out panhandler. There are large scale models of playing pieces, including a sports car (to represent bankers) and a red plastic house with a Tox tag sprayed onto it. This is a reference to not only the jailed London Graffiti artist but also to the toxic morgages that kick started the current recession. The work of art is valued at over £400,000 and is bound to become a tourist attraction. The protest is set to last for at least six months.
The Closure on Friday of St Paul’s cathedral is said to be costing about £16,000 a day in lost tourism revenue. Earlier today, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres said the camp’s presence threatened “to eclipse” the issues being raised. This overreaction by the church, is in the opinion of many, a way of generating an anti-protest sentiment from the public. A wedding was cancelled on Saturday and Sunday services were also stopped by the church, which is heavily funded by banks and other city institutions, to the tune of around 3m per year in donations. The church originally welcomed the protest as a peaceful way of bringing the issues of bank greed to the media.This protest is no longer just about St Paul’s, it is not something that can be dealt with from one location” A St Paul’s spokesman said, “A lot of independent traders are being affected and that whole part of London is not easily accessible. Mayor Boris Johnson, who met with cathedral and police officals, said: “They have made their point, they have to go”. The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Rt Revd Graeme Paul Knowles, had repeatedly asked the protesters to leave before deciding to close its gates for the first time since World War II.
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. Read More