BANKSY or not Banksy?
That will have been the question on many people’s lips when they saw a piece of art – which certainly appears to be in the style of the world’s most famous graffiti artist – on the old BHS building in Stratford town centre.
The graffiti appeared on the back doors of the now abandoned building in Bridge Street over the weekend and shows the figure of a soldier looking down at a poppy growing alone in a field, with the slogan “Lest We Forget” daubed, alongside.
Photos of the artwork were sent into the Observer by a passer-by who appeared convinced the anonymous street artist had paid a trip to Shakespeare’s town.
But the jury is still officially out on whether the work is a genuine Banksy or not – especially as there have been plenty of Banksy imitators over the years.
No doubt Banksy experts will be called in to take a look before the decision is made whether to clean the graffiti off or not.
Banksy, who is believed to have been born in Bristol, rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the 1990s. His identity remains unknown despite intense speculation.
His artwork is characterised by striking images often combined with slogans. His work often engages with political themes, satirically critiquing capitalism, hypocrisy and greed.
Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family and children.
Some of his most famous works include the “Kissing Coppers” in Brighton, “One Nation Under CCTV”, painted onto a Royal Mail building in Newman Street, London, “Girl With a Balloon” and the image of a convict escapin,g stenciled onto the wall of Reading Prison.
A genuine Banksy is valued at million of pounds.
Do you think Stratford has been visited by Banksy? Email your thoughts to the Stratford Observer news desk at [email protected]