The Banksy Print Vault: Immortalizing Banksy Guerilla Art Before They Are Gone From The Streets

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The global stencil resource ads a gallery of Banksy's work for people to browse and share.

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opening of an online gallery dedicated to subversive street arts most popular and controversial proponent, Banksy

The dramatic rise in popularity, or infamy, of Banksy's artwork has resulted in the inexorable disappearance of his art from its rightful place, the streets. This may be a gain for the collectors and the unscrupulous. But sadly, it is a loss for the community.

The illegal nature of his work has resulted in their whitewashing and defacement by local authorities. For instance, one of Banksys more popular murals entitled Pulp Fiction, where Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are shown holding bananas instead of guns, was painted over by London Transport workers in April 2007 as part of a graffiti removal campaign. The mural, located at Londons Old Street station, was valued at $300,000 then.

Recognition by discriminating art galleries and the skyrocketing price-per-piece of his art has also resulted in the theft of these from museums and from the communities they were once a part of. In March 2012, Banksy artwork in Californias Sta. Monica College was suspected to have been stolen because there were cut-out lines on the wooden construction wall it was painted on. It now probably graces someones collection of fine art.

Envy has also resulted in the defacement of his work by street vandals. A good example of this was the mural Banksy did of a naked man hanging from a window on the side of a sexual health clinic in Park Street, Bristol. Although almost all of the residents voted for its retention, the mural was defaced with blue paint by unknown perpetrators in June 2009. This is a sad turn of events for the ordinary person who has come to appreciate the dark beauty and satirical message of Banksys subversive art.

The Banksy Art Vault

In answer to this, Stencil Revolution is announcing the opening of an online gallery dedicated to subversive street arts most popular and controversial proponent, Banksy. The vault will contain prints of approximately 170 pieces done by the artist, from his earliest known works as part of the Bristol underground scene in 1992 to his most recent subversions in different parts of the globe.

Not only will images of Banksys art be included but also a brief overview containing a little of the story behind each piece. Some facets of the meaning underlying each will be discussed as well as where and, in some cases, when each work was probably done by the artist. For those who plan to acquire pieces of his art, suggestions can also be found about where best to place these often-satirical pieces. The website will also allow people to interact socially in appreciation of the art. In the future, the services may be expanded to provide reprints for avid enthusiasts of his art.

It is the nature of art such as that created by Banksy to be vulnerable to the differing views that people have about it. Those who view it as vandalism, instead of poignant guerilla art, seek to remove it from their communities. Others who value these works for what they are " an artistic commentary on the world in which we live " seek to preserve" them by hiding them away in collections to protect them from wanton damage. This, unfortunately, removes them from the communities they were meant to enrich.

It is the mission of The Banksy Prints Vault to preserve these pieces in digital format so those who were meant to enjoy them can still do so. Stencil Revolution, the group behind this move, is a free community of people dedicated to the pursuit and preservation of graffiti street art, and other subversive art forms, for the public at large.

Stencil Revolution is a global community of street artists with their roots coming from the stencil. With an obvious connection to the work of Banksy, it was a perfect fit to dedicate a section of the site to the artist's work.

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Tyler Grinston
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