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Friday, February 27, 2009


Im a little late with this one but I thought I would share for anyone who hasnt seen this yet. Last month an Original Banksy "Balloon Girl" was auctioned on eBay and although the final bid was only $5,000 and the reserve wasn't met the story behind the piece is priceless.

The Artwork
You´re bidding on an original artwork of world-famous street artist Banksy which was sprayed on a wall on Mona Road, Kingston, Jamaica, by the artist during a visit to the island in the year 2004. It is roughly 60 inches by 55 inches and about 7 inches thick. It weighs approximately 2000 pounds. Done by the artist in 2004 on Mona road in Kingston, Jamaica. Shipping (to any country but Jamaica) for the wall to your door will be roughly $10k. This is the artcoup of the year.

The Story
It was a non-eventful day when he actually drew them. He bought some construction paper from a local pharmacy and cut the stuff out. Then he drew this stencil of a girl on an exterior wall and some rabbits on the inside the pub itself. I kind of just stood there taking his picture because it was something to do. I had already captured his face back at Buju’s studio where he had done some other stuff so this was just extra. I didn’t really think much of it. I mean I live in a place where people get shot for marking up people’s walls (usually with a paintbrush), so a few sprayed stencils on the wall of a pub didn’t strike me as particularly interesting. Later when I heard how much his stuff was selling for, I contemplated going back and chopping the wall down. It was there for years and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought about doing it. Mona road is heavily travelled by a lot of foreign students on their way to the university so people from all over the world would often mention it, but nobody ever took the steps to cut it down…till this last August when I got a email from someone asking about my knowledge of the locations Banksy had tagged. That’s when I figured I should probably go get it before someone else did. The wall is the last remaining tag that he did in Jamaica that can be seen in public. It’s also the only remaining stencil that has the tag BANKSY on it. The other ones were: A bridge in Charleton gully which was painted over. A rusting old ship near the airport (a stencil of a skull, crossbones and the signature ‘Banksy’has since faded) Buju Banton’s studio in Kingston (where there is another ‘balloon girl’ and some flying insects). The wall is 60 inches by 55 inches and about 7 inches thick. It weighs like 2000 pounds though that is just a guess. I spent the day getting a bunch of drunk guys to cut it down and raise it onto a flatbed truck tied to one of those sealtbelt-type industrial straps. I was amazed that it didn’t smash to pieces which would have really been an incredible waste of energy and patience. All the guys in that video (including me) had no real idea how to cut the thing down (much less move it) and were completely impaired by the time we actually got it tied to a backhoe (borrowed from a nearby construction site). Ironically, the damn thing almost fell on me in which case there would be a much funnier headline : 'Jamaican who revealed Banksy killed by falling artwork'.

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