Banksy v. Robbo — Tag! You’re It!

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Publicity Stunts

Banksy rival King Robbo has the final word in street art feud
by Fiona Hamilton
The Times
December 30, 2009

Not since the rivalry of Picasso and Matisse, which prompted the Spanish master’s friends to throw missiles at his French counterpart’s work, has there been such a clash between artistic camps.

This time, though, the hostility has arisen over the sweep of a spray can rather than the delicate dabbing of a paintbrush.

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Banksy’s painting of a mural over a rival’s work, which had been left untouched for more than 25 years, has provoked an online assault against one of the country’s most popular artists. Scathing remarks were posted on internet forums yesterday about Banksy’s image of a workman pasting over a wall of graffiti in Camden, North London. The painting covered up the work of Robbo, a renowned street artist who pioneered the capital’s graffiti tagging scene in the 1980s.

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It appears that Robbo returned to the site over Christmas to paint “King Robbo” in giant letters over Banksy’s work. It appears as though Banksy’s character is painting the phrase, thus paying homage to Robbo.

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One admirer wrote on a street art internet forum: “\ your piece should of remained standing . . . more style than banksy will ever have!”

Many graffiti enthusiasts accused Banksy of being disrespectful. On slamxhype.com, a user wrote: “Complete and utter sacrilege by Banksy. Blasphemous in the extreme. How dare he paint over history? What on earth gives him the right?”

Read the rest of this story here.


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