Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his approval

The buyer of a work by street artist Banksy that was partially destroyed moments after it sold has gone through with the purchase at Sotheby's auction house. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018

Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his approval

  • The show’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya describes Banksy as “a phenomenon and one of the most brilliant and important artist of our epoch.”

Madrid: Banksy has been Banksied.
The guerilla artist who puts up his work in public spaces without asking authorization is the subject of a new show in Madrid featuring his works — without his authorization.
“Genius or Vandal?” opened Thursday at the Ifema center in the Spanish capital and will run until March 10.
It has already pulled in half a million visitors at its previous venues Moscow and Saint Petersburg, according to a statement from the organizers.
The show’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya, who assembled the works from private collectors, describes Banksy as “a phenomenon and one of the most brilliant and important artist of our epoch.”
The street artist himself remains something of an enigma. All he has revealed about himself is that he is British and that his home town is Bristol in southeast England.
But the dark wit of his art and a certain talent for self-promotion has helped him build up an international reputation, to the point that his works have fetched more than a million pounds.
In August, Banksy used his Instagram account — 5.1 million followers — to make his position clear on the original Moscow show.
He posted an exchange of messages between him and a follower who tipped him off to the unauthorized exhibition.
Told they were charging a £20 ($25, €22) entrance free, Bansky replied: “I wish I could find it funny. What’s the opposite of LOL?“
But at the suggestion that he put out a statement denouncing the fact that it was made to look like an official show, he replied: .”..not sure I’m the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission.”
Nevertheless, his website does carry a message warning visitors about this and other shows. “They’ve been organized entirely without the artist’s knowledge or involvement. Please treat them accordingly.”
In the meantime, his subversive style continues to attract admirers.
His most recent stunt was at the October auction of one of his works, “Girl with Balloon,” at Sotheby’s in London.
Moments after it sold for £1,042,000 — a joint record for the maverick artist — it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.
Only partially destroyed, the buyer went through with the purchase and some art experts said it was probably now worth more than it had been before the stunt.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.