A Banksy, painted on the side of a building in London, has been sold to artist Ron English for $730,000, but now English says he plans to paint over the mural because street art
“shouldn’t be bought and sold”.
Slave Labour, a young child on his knees at a sewing machine producing a string of Union Jack bunting, was painted on the side of a bargain store in in 2012 as a protest against sweatshops used to manufacture souvenirs for the London Olympics. It was removed from the wall in February 2013, to the anger and protest of local residents.
The painting was auctioned by Julien‘s in Los Angeles. English said after the sale,
“My idea for this painting is to whitewash it for my good pal Banksy, I only wish I could’ve spent more money for it. I’m going to paint it white again, I’m done. This is a blow for street art. It shouldn’t be bought and sold….
We’re tired of people stealing our stuff off the streets and re-selling it so I’m just going to buy everything I can get my hands on and whitewash it.“
English, who said he had spent time in Palestine with Banksy, said,
“Then of course I’ll sell the whitewash painting for a million dollars. I’m crazy but I’m not stupid.“
If you’re not familiar with English’s work he’s kind of America’s Banksy combined with Warhol on acid (he has fans that are almost a cult.) You can check out his POPaganda here.
(Photo, Wikimedia Commons, YouTube; via Sky News)