Banksy Art Defaced By Bitter Rival

King Robbo strikes again – but oh what an #EpicFail!

Bansky’s long-time antagonist King Robbo has just defaced his ‘Shop Till You Drop’ artwork in West London. Tagging the base of this monumental piece with the words ‘Team Robbo’, he then added: ‘No escaping us sonny xxx’, and ‘you will need a cherry picker to put perspex over this one council’.

This is a rather lame attempt to undermine Banksy by Robbo. For one thing, his additions are literally dwarfed by the size of the original artwork, something that his tag even points out, alluding to the size via reference to a cherry picker, and simultaneously hammers home the tremendous success of Banksy in that governments have been known to protect his artworks, rather than whitewash them! ‘No escaping from us sonny xxx’ is a bizarre one; presumably intended as cutting ironic joviality, it comes across as a little desperate, even clingy.

This is the latest move in a long-running graffiti war between the two street artists, Robbo most recently vandalising the Banksy artwork of a biplane leaving a trail of smoke across the wall of a car park in Liverpool city centre, adding the words ‘BANKSY 4 ROBBO’ across the image of the heart. But Banksy in fact started it, vandalising a 25-year-old graff by Robbo – a long-established and well-respected graffiti artist – that no one else had touched for respect of its importance as a piece of graffiti history.

This new artwork to be defaced was spotted in West London at the beginning of December .The piece is stencilled onto the side of a disused building, and depicts a woman falling through the air, desperately clutching onto a shopping trolley containing a bottle of wine, a necklace, and a purse. This literal take on the ‘shop till you drop’ motto – presumably a comment on the potentially self-destructive power of consumerism – was created using an elaborate scaffolding set-up to conceal the artist in the act.

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.

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