A grafitti artist today defended his decision to paint a mural on the same wall as one of Banksy’s most iconic works.
The new piece – depicting a woman pulling apart an orb – appears just metres below Banksy’s famous ‘Well Hung Lover’ mural in Bristol.
It was designed and created by street artist ‘Philth’ as a way to advertise his new solo street art show at a nearby gallery.
Painting over another artist’s work is a particularly aggressive move in the graffiti scene – especially when the mural is highly respected – and can ofter lead to graffiti wars.
But Philth said that he had only painted on the space underneath the world-famous Banksy and that he believed it was “fair game” for anybody to wanted to use it.
He said: “The wall is split into two. The top half is brick and the bottom half is emulsion and was covered in tags, that made it fair game to me.
“I’ve got an exhibition at the gallery over the road, a lot of my work is street art based and I paint a lot of walls so it was fitting to paint something on the street to accompany the gallery.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Banksy, I have massive respect for what he has done and I have been a fan in the past but I wouldn’t say I am a fan now.
“It’s an honour to share some space with him though. I’ve photographed that wall myself
“It’s a trick in street art to put your sticker next to someone else’s work, but for me it just dropped in like that.”
The image of a naked man hanging out of a window as a suspicious husband, with his half-naked wife behind him, looks out, is the best-known Banksy image in Bristol.
It was put up in 2006 on the side of a now former sexual health clinic on Frogmore Street but was vandalised in 2009 when a group fired at it with a blue paintball gun.
The picture still remains but now has a few blue splodges of paint from the attack.
Richard Jones, editor of ‘Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home’, a book detailing his art in the city, said he does not believe the Philth piece infringes of Banksy’s work.
But he called for more protection for Banksy’s artworks before they are permanently defaced.
“I think it’s absolutely fair game, the piece doesn’t infringe on Banksy’s piece at all,” he said.
“But what I find strange about that piece is that tens of thousands of people come into town to take pictures of that art work but yet it’s entirely unprotected.
“At least three pieces have gone in the last year and that will only rise without protection.
“These pieces will just go, I find it absolutely remarkable that it is one of the city’s best assets and yet we don’t protect them or preserve them in anyway.
“If you are not careful rival artists will come and pain over them.
“I have always been surprised that the council or the tourism people haven’t felt that it is something which should be preserved or protected.
“There has to come a point when you wise up and make something of it and not celebrating or commemorating it at all.”
I don’t like it. Blatant cry for attention from the artist and the gallery just opposite – those that know, know, I’m not naming them…