Last month, in early January 2014, Global TV did a news story about a potential Banksy mural under the 10th Street LRT bridge.
I was aware of this news story, so on a reasonably nice day about a month ago I decided to go for a walk in the sunshine and view it. I did not see it then, so thought maybe I had forgotten exactly where it was. I found the video online and reviewed it to confirm its location – which you can view here. I then went back with a camera a couple weeks ago to confirm whether I was blind or not the first time.
The photo at the top is what I saw on the afternoon of February 18th on the same wall that the Banksky mural was at one time located, as reported by Global TV. Below is a screen shot from the Global TV video.
In the news story, there were some opinions which went both ways in the news story. Some said it was a Banksy and others said it was not. I am not even going to speculate whether it was or not.
Either way, it got painted over with a patch of grey paint and part of the large heart and the feet of the person standing are still faintly visible under the grey paint. If it actually was one of Banksy’s works, this would certainly not be the first time other works of his have been painted over, damaged or destroyed as evidenced in this large list.
What is done, is done. It is now water under the bridge. This fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on one’s viewpoint), is the nature of street art and graffiti.
Now (or, more correctly, when this photo was taken) a brand new piece of art had taken up residence on the other side of the same bridge. It is a wheat pasted image. When viewed, it had the appearance as if it probably was a large lithograph. The image itself, possibly is an appropriated image from a gangster (or film noir) movie.
When I found it, there appeared to be no attempts to remove the image. As a result, it must have been recently placed there. It would be curious to know who did this work. I suspect possibly a young artist somehow connected to the Alberta College of Art and Design up the hill, although it is certainly possible that it could be anyone.
This wheat paste work is an interesting contrast to the Banksy work that was located on the other side of the bridge.
This of course in itself is also rather interesting. This, because of the history of a well-documented and probably one of the most famous Banksy murals at one time located near a tube station in London. It depicted Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction movie. It was painted over by London Transport workers in 2007 and was covered by the BBC. The reason given in the BBC story for this action was that “a tough line had to be taken on graffiti because it created an atmosphere of social decay.”
Disregarding the historical narrative of this London mural, and the potential parallels between the two pieces, just having the two Calgary works together would have been a very interesting dialogue. It is unfortunate that both pieces could not have occupied the same wall, at the same time.
- One work with a sole figure holding a paintbrush looking off to the side at a big colourful heart.
- The other with a sole figure looking directly at the viewer down the barrel of an old machine gun.