Banksy in Toronto

Some Final Words on Banksy

He likes getting scratched behind the ears. The dog does, too.

Thanks to the benevolence of some kind folks on Twitter I was able to scoot downtown today to get a look at the remaining Banksy piece here in Toronto I hadn’t found.  It’s probably my favourite of the batch, given the colour.  A little irritating to see how close I had been to it during my initial search on Monday; basically walked right past it.

For his part, Banksy has been continuing his North American travels, hitting up Detroit and Boston so far, with more to come no doubt.  To those of us who are fans, I found this post on Wooster Collective summed up the sentiment, echoing what I wrote the other day:

It’s been amazing to see how Banksy’s road trip across North America has completely energized local communities…For us, Banksy has given people a new reason to get out of their homes, explore their cities on a scavenger hunt trying to find pieces that have been put up in both heavily trafficked areas as well as those off the beaten path. [Source]

Exactly.  But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed since moving to Toronto, this city might love hockey, but they might love hating even more.

Tuesday morning word trickled in that the ‘Will Work for Idiots’ piece had been sloppily gone over by local tagger Manr.  Now, see…sigh.

The argument goes, ‘live by the can, die by the can.’ You’d like to believe most writers work under a code, and will refrain from flagrantly going up over someone who got there first. But the game is the game, and people will go over to claim a prime piece of real estate.  One piece of vandalism cannot be celebrated over another. Manr had every right to paint that alley as Banksy did.

But see, Manr wanted to make a statement.  He didn’t care if it was good, he just wanted to get himself over on Banksy.  Don’t think it’s a mistake that you can still see the original piece under that weak throw up. That’s the whole point. He wants all the Banksy fans, all the people who don’t give a shit about street art any other day of the week, to see his name. I can certainly understand that logic, I’d probably be pissed if no one in my city cared about the thing I dedicated my life to, but the second some crossover celebrity hits town, it’s all anyone can talk about. But what Manr did was just lazy.  And he’s got every right to be lazy, and I’ve got every right to think he’s a douche because of it.

That said, I think the alternative misses the point as well. I mean, props to the owners of that pub for recognizing what they had on the back of their building, but  it’s still altering the original environment of the work, and I just think graf should respected but not protected.

And Torontoist, I know you had people arguing for the reveal of the locations, but you should know I would not have had the amazing day I had on Monday if I had just gone to points on a map. I wouldn’t have talked to the people I did, I wouldn’t have seen the neighbourhoods and parts of the city I did.  And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

My Day With Banksy

Sore feet, but happy.

Anyone who loves street art probably froze for a good fifteen seconds when the headline ‘Banksy Comes to Toronto?‘ hit Torontoist on Sunday afternoon.  It wouldn’t have been the first time people thought they spotted the man’s work on the streets of T-Dot, people around here have been mistaking Fauxreel and Banksy’s work for years, so there was a healthy dose of skepticism.  But the evidence continued to pile up, to the point where the CBC of all places reported that Banksy’s publicist [Banksy has a publicist?!] confirmed that the pieces spotted were legitimate.

And then it seemed everyone in this city lost their damn fool mind for a minute.