Banksy is a world-renown street artist/vandal and tracking down his authentic (there are fakes and wanna-be’s) artworks can be a daunting task. It is an unfortunate fact that most of his works have been destroyed and/or vandalized by amateurs, but you really can’t complain about it as Banksy himself is also considered a vandal. Being a street artist means that your canvas is public property and you don’t get royalty fees for your work as well as not have any kind of intellectual property rights.
But we’ve managed to find some of his authentic works that you can check out in these places.
The City of San Francisco once had 6 – 7 artworks made by Banksy, but today only one of them is left. Just go to the corner of Erie and Mission Streets, around the corner from Cafe Prague and you’ll be able to see the ‘Bird Singing in Tree’ mural made by Banksy; there are other street art in the Mission neighborhood also. Before he inspired new artists to follow his work, the ‘Bird Singing in Tree’ mural was the only street art in that street corner, today there are hundreds of overlapping artwork by multiple artists there.
Park City, Utah
Residents of Park City in Utah really loved and respected Banksy, which is why they preserved all three of his works. Only two of Banksy’s artworks are left displayed on the street, the third one was removed for safekeeping. They are as follows:
‘Praying Boy’ which is located in 537 Main Street that depicts a young boy on his knees and praying characterized by a pink halo above his head and small angel wings. It was almost painted over by other street artists, but thanks to the wonderful efforts of Park City residents it has been restored to its original condition.
‘Camera Man and Flower’ which is found in 402 Main Street just a few blocks from the ‘Praying Boy’ graffiti shows a man picking up a flower and readying his camera for a shot.
Both graffitis have been framed by hardwood and covered with highly durable plexiglass to protect against weathering and vandalism.
Most of Banksy’s artwork in New Orleans was meant to be a protest against the US Government for its outright neglect to the people of this city. Among them include ‘Umbrella Girl,’ which is found at the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Kerlerec Street (it’s just a stone’s throw away from the famous French Quarter). Another one is called the ‘Graffiti Eradicator’ which is located in the Central Business District of New Orleans. Banksy’s satirical works showcases this stereotype character “the graffiti eradicator” to send a message to the government. He is and always will be a political activist.
New York City
Banksy loved making murals in the City of New York, because his artwork draws lots of crowd who sent ripples of cheers on radio, TV, newspaper, magazines and on the internet. Despite the warm and loving welcoming gesture of New Yorkers only one of the dozens of his artworks has survived to this day – the ‘Hammer Boy.’ Today it is covered by plexiglass to protect it from being defaced. It’s located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and it depicts a small boy painted all black so as to make his identity unknown attempting to hit the red standpipe in the corner.
Since Banksy never explained the intended meaning behind his works, everything that exists is pure speculation.
We could interpret it as him being playful with the correlation between the high striker carnival game hammer and the demands of the classy neighborhood where the graffiti is situated.