Banksy in Toronto!?
Originally there was seven Banksy works in Toronto, back in 2010 right in time for the release of his film that premiered January 2010. There were concerns that disclosing the works locations could lead to pieces being stolen or damaged. Most have fallen victim to exactly that, street rivalry, over-tags, and removal. There are just two remaining Banksy works, and the only one still in its intended environment is in the image above, ( On Church Street, in an alley on the west side of the street, just north of The Esplanade).
For those of you who don’t know, Banksy is an anonymous British street artist who has gained enormous respect and popularity for his satirical and provocative epigrams. While in Toronto in 2010, the artist left his mark on several buildings, signs and even a fallen tree while promoting his documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop.
The second servicing piece is on what was left of a demolished police headquarters, Menkes, which is developing the new condominium at the Habour Plaza, claims to have saved Banksy’s piece strictly for public enjoyment, rather than for aesthetic reasons, although it will be on display in a private space.
Regardless of the intentions of the company (some of Banksy’s work has sold for hundreds of thousands), there is the gray area for street art, who owns it. Banksy painting on specific wall is never a coincidence. He intendeds his work to be viewed by passing pedestrians, rather than to be examined by the elite. According to the street art counter-culture, which Banksy fostered and globally popularized, the illustration, was created for the public, and will always belong to the public! Badass Banksy.