Sea of Gray!

Banksy West Bank Scandal

It’s Friday. Let’s talk about Banksy.

Stop + Search on display at Keszler Gallery.

Here’s a funny story: Banksy, famous graffitist extraordinaire, did a project in 2007 called Bethlehem Santa’s Ghetto. He left his mark with his typically reactive and appropriately inappropriate stylings throughout public surfaces in the West Bank. In 2008, a group of Palestinian “entrepeneurs” paid the butcher shop where one was located (Stop + Search), as well as the county jurisdiction (for Wet Dog) to physically remove the pieces and sell them on eBay. LUCKILY, they sat in a stonemason’s yard for three years because… what’s the fun in shipping 2.5 tons of spray painted cement across tightly controlled borders? Fortunately for the sucker art buying public, New York’s Keszler Gallery and Bankrobber Gallery have opened an exhibition in the Southampton Village Power Plant (8/20/11).

Wait… What? A gallery bought Banksies on the black market and is selling them for O-Face prices? Okay, hold it right there. We could just get real with ourselves and admit that this kind of thing happens all the time, but with Banksy, it’s a different story, probably because people think he’s so cool. And he does graffiti in Palestine.

Unfortunately for Keszler, Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication office, has only confirmed that one of the seven pieces on view is an actual original of the artist. Keszler Gallery isn’t worried.

Pest Control to Keszler: “We have warned Mr. Keszler of the serious implications of selling unauthenticated works but he seems to not care. We have no doubt that these works will come back to haunt Mr. Keszler.”


As expected, Banksy was not available for comment.

Wet Dog in situ. Source.

Wet Dog on display at Keszler.

Here’s an extra Post Script treat! You can watch the whole story unfold in this promotional video released by Keszler Gallery. The music and the views out of the car window make it.

For further reading

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This entry was published on September 2, 2011 at 11:09 am and is filed under Art, Culture, Graffiti, New York, Theft. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Banksy West Bank Scandal

  1. Awesome write up, in the middle of my own write up of the same event.

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