Banksy's art authentication system displays top-notch cryptographic nous

Banksy's anonymity makes it hard to authenticate his pieces and prints, so Banksy has created a nonprofit called "Pest Control" that issues certificates of authenticity: you send them an alleged Banksy print and £65 and if they agree that it's authentic, they'll return it with a certificate that has a torn-in-half "Di-faced" fake banknote with Lady Diana's face on it, with a handwritten ID number across the bill. Read the rest

Banksy mural stolen from Bataclan in Paris

This weekend, thieves stole the Banksy mural painted on the emergency exit door of the Bataclan concert venue in Paris. The Bataclan is where on November 13, 2015 Islamic State militants launched a terrorist attack by killing 90 people during an Eagles of Death Metal concert before continuing with shootings and suicide bombings that resulted in 130 deaths total and more than 400 injuries. From the BBC News:

The theft, which occurred overnight on Friday, involved "a group of hooded individuals armed with angle grinders", AFP news agency reports, citing a source close to the investigation.

The suspects then reportedly drove away with the artwork in a truck.

"Banksy Mural Is Stolen From Bataclan, Site of Paris Attacks" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

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Banksy's latest street art comments on town's steel industry

This Banksy artwork was painted late last night a on a steelworker's garage in Port Talbot, South Wales, UK. From CNN:

The art, which appears to pay homage to the town's industrial past, depicts a child playing in what looks like snow. But viewed from another angle this appears to be embers and smoke from a skip fire....

Properties and cars were covered with black dust from the town's steelworks in July, which has been suggested as a potential inspiration for the work...

A Neath Port Talbot council spokesperson told CNN in a statement that they are sending officers to liaise with the property owner in order to assist in protecting the artwork but noted that the graffiti is on private property.

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. . . . Season’s greetings . . .

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on Dec 19, 2018 at 6:53am PST

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Canal+ commits copyfraud, gets Banksy's painting-shredding video removed from Youtube

In October, a delightful prank by the artist Banksy involved a painting of his shredding itself shortly after a Sotheby's bidder committed to spending £1.04m to buy it. Read the rest

Banksy offers sculpture for £2 -- with a catch

For just £2 you could own this remote-controlled boat sculpture that was once featured at Banksy's Dismaland. That is, if you guess its weight correctly. Banksy has donated the coin-op artwork to go into a raffle to benefit Choose Love, a store where you can buy gifts for refugees. An entry into the raffle is a £2 donation.

Here are the rules:

Your guess should be to the nearest gram (for example a guess of about 5 kilos could be 4800g). You can even specify milligrams if you're feeling confident. Closest guess wins the boat (the wooden plinth is not included in the weight guessing).

Competition closes 8pm GMT December 22nd 2018. At which time the boat will be weighed by specialist students from Kings College London. The winner will be notified by email. In the event of more than one correct guess the winner will be drawn by lot.

Guesses not limited per person. All money donated goes directly to supporting refugees and displaced people. The organisers reserve the right to small print etc.

Need a clue? The boat is constructed from a shop bought fibre glass hull customised with quick-cast resin figures which are foam filled and hand spray painted. Although the prize includes battery pack, that is not currently in the boat.

Boat dimensions: 90cm x 38cm x 42cm.

Enter here.

(Cool Hunting) Read the rest

Banksy's art shred 'every time' in rehearsals, but malfunctioned at Sotheby's

In a video released Wednesday, Banksy revealed the "Girl With Balloon" shredding stunt malfunctioned at Sotheby's, noting that it "worked every time" in rehearsals.

Also revealed: the mechanisms inside the frame that supposedly shredded the art were more complicated than the originally shown X-acto blades.

Its new owner, a woman in good standing with the auction house, paid £1.04m for the pre-shredded work and will keep it. The ribboned piece is now called, "Love Is in the Bin."

Previously: Myth-busting the self-shredding Banksy painting Read the rest

Myth-busting the self-shredding Banksy painting

From the outset, folks suspected the self-shredding Banksy painting was a planned media stunt. After all, Sothebys hung it on the wall instead of the customary easel, allowing the shredder to function, and put it up at the end of the day, so the fuss didn't interrupt other auctions. But the devil is in the details. At Artnome, Jason Bailey sets about myth-busting the shred, right down to the technical challenges of creating such a device.

If you thought batteries couldn't last long enough to do the deed, you lose! But if you realized that a row of flatside-up exacto blades aren't going to start clean cuts, pat yourself on the back.

Yes, a battery can last for up to 10 years; there are also other plausible theories that do not implicate Sotheby’s Yes, there was a functional shredder (in the loosest sense of the word) Yes, the work was partially pre-shredded and spooled Yes, the device in the video is the one that was used to further shred the painted during the auction

And, of course:

Had Sotheby’s actually been completely caught off guard by a man with a remote detonation device and large frame concealing electronics making a beeping noise, one would assume they would have jumped into action assuming the worst. Instead, the porters calmly shepherded the work out of the room and returned to the activities of the evening. I assume Sotheby’s was familiar with the person who had the triggering device (if not also familiar with the specifics of the plan).

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Banksy booby-trapped a painting so it self-destructed after Sotheby's sold it for £953,829

Banksy's iconic "Girl With Red Balloon" street art went under the hammer at Sotheby's in a custom frame of the artist's own design; moments after it sold for £953,829, a booby-trap kicked in, drawing the canvas into a series of shredder blades built into the frame, rendering it down to a pile of forlorn strips of shredded cloth. Read the rest

Banksy painting comes with free house!

If you purchase Banksy's "Spy Booth" mural for $300,000, you get a three-bedroom Victorian home in Cheltenham, England for free! The house, in dire need of renovation, features the Banksy artwork on an outside wall. It's now fenced in as the mural was defaced in 2014 and then restored.

From the New York Post:

The mural was painted in the wake of — and apparently in support of — Edward Snowden’s leak of National Security Agency documents, which revealed startling information about global surveillance.

But why is “Spy Booth” located in this English town, and not, say, in Washington, DC? Because Cheltenham is home to the UK Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s intelligence and security agency, which actually uses this artwork on its website.

Property listing: Fairview Road, Fairview, Cheltenham, GL52

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The best Dismaland video, for posterity

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Dismaland will be dismantled, used for refugee shelters in Calais

Banksy's brilliant piss-take on theme-parks has run its course and will now be dismantled, shipped to Calais and turned into temporary shelters for the refugees massed there. Read the rest

Inside Banksy's Dismaland

Banksy installed a massive pisstake of Disneyland, called Dismaland, that includes his art and other, at a former swimming pool compound in Weston-super-Mare, England. More images below. Read the rest

Banksy artworks in LEGO

Banksy pieces redone in LEGO by Jeff Friessen of The Brick Fantastic (via Laughing Squid). Read the rest

Auctioning a conceptual copy of Banksy's thrifted "Banality of the Banality of Evil" to benefit 826 Valencia

A San Francisco artist commissioned a Chinese artist to make a copy of "The Banality of the Banality of Evil" -- a painting that Banksy thrifted, added a Nazi to, and shop-dropped back into the thrift store. The copy, called "The Banality Of The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil," is now being auctioned to support 826 Valencia, a literacy for kids program in San Francisco. Read the rest

Banksy's Ronald McDonald sculpture gets a shoeshine

"A fibreglass replica of Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined by a real live boy. The sculpture will visit the sidewalk outside a different McDonalds every lunchtime for the next week. Today: South Bronx." -- BanksyNY (Be sure to click on the link to get a good look at Mr. McDonald's facial expression.) Read the rest

Sirens of the Lambs: Banksy's shrieking-squeaking toy-stuffed meat van tours New York

Photo: Peter Le

This weekend, puttering around in Brooklyn in the wake of New York Comic-Con, Heather and I saw the strangest thing: a sinister-looking truck loaded with stuffed, loudly-squeaking animal toys, tooling down the street. We went through the possibilities. PETA, perhaps? An advertising campaign? Turns out that it's Banksy! Read the rest

Banksy sells paintings at deep discounts in Central Park

Prankster street artist Banksy continued his New York City residency this weekend near Central Park by setting up an art stall, manned by someone else. Banksy sold six original paintings, netting $420. Clearly, context is everything. Read the rest

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