Banksy can keep his trademarks and anonymity

After a year-long legal battle with EU courts, Banksy’s cover remains intact, and his work protected.

The news comes after a board of appeal reversed its 2021 decision to invalidate the trademark for the elusive artist’s iconic depiction of a monkey holding a sign around its neck that reads: ‘Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge’.

First created in 2002 in Brighton, the ‘Laugh Now’ graffiti was kept free of a mark up until 2018 when Banksy’s authenticating body, Pest Control, chose to register it. However, Full Colour Black, a U.K. greeting card company that relies on Banksy visuals to sell its products was not too pleased with the news and decided to challenge the mark a year later, claiming it was filed ‘in bad faith’.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) initially supported that claim in May 2021, arguing that the British artist’s work ‘was free to be photographed by the general public and has been disseminated widely.’  Banksy is also known for speaking out against copyright, saying it was for ‘losers’. Naturally, this statement did not help his case at the time.

After careful re-consideration, the EUIPO published a ruling last week, stating that they found no evidence of ill- intent from Pest Control and, consequently, Banksy.

Interestingly a few days later, Banksy published a post on his instagram account to his 11.6 million followers, accusing US fashion retailer Guess of stealing his work, and encouraging shoplifters to head to their flagship Regent Street store in central London and “help themselves” to the clothes .

Behind the mannequins wearing T-shirts, coats and accessories featuring his graffiti, there was a large background image of his Flower Thrower stencil, showing a masked Palestinian throwing a bouquet of flowers.

The Guess website promoting the collection says the clothes were “created in partnership with Brandalised”, a company which secures the rights to graffiti all over the world, which their website says offers fans the chance to buy “affordable graffiti collectibles”.

Guess have shops in both the UK and US, and feature lots of Banksy’s work predominantly on their site and Instagram page : https://www.guess.eu/en-sk/guess/art-collection

The collection has items for men, women and children, and uses Banksy images including the Queen with a blue and red David Bowie-style lightning flash painted across her face, his Livin’ The Dream Disney take down and Thug For Life Bunny. Prices range from around £35 up to around £225.

To top it up they also have stolen the artwork from artist Inc Wel, known for his Ziggy Lizzy portrait in Bristol and misnamed it as Banksy.

Following Banksy’s post, shop staff covered the inside of the window with large sheets of plain paper, obscuring the display.

As Brandalised acquired licencing rights from Full Colour black Ltd, it will be an interesting to see how this will unfold.

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Video : Banksy in Ukraine

The elusive artist just posted a witty video summarising his latest artworks in Ukraine with behind the scenes shots and showing the atrocities of the war on the civilians.

Banksy in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, a new stencil has appeared in Kyiv in a special location: Independence Square. It bears all the hallmarks of elusive artist Banksy: one layer stencil featuring a boy and girl adapting to war playing seesaw with an anti-tank obstacle. It was left unfinished, as it seems that the grey paint was a first layer to avoid rust on the anti-tank obstacle.

Photo credit: Max Ganz

Update 9 November

Banksy continues his trip through Ukraine. This time in a residential district of Borodyanka, a town located north west from Kyiv that was partially destroyed at the start of the conflict.

This time the multilayered stencil features a child throwing a man on the floor like a judo match.

For info Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was a black belt in Judo, was removed from his position of honorary president of the international Judo Federation (IJF) in May.

Photos credit Ed Ram / Getty Images

Banksy has now confirmed the artworks on his website. Despite the chaos, the gymnast is still standing

CAPITALE(S) 60 Years of Urban Art in Paris

Butterfly Art News is pleased to partner with the Ville de Paris for the Exhibition ‘CAPITALE(S) – 60 ans d’art urbain’, hosted within the Hotel de Ville, Paris City Hall, and running from 15 October until 11 February 2023. Free entry, but booking is essential here

Through the creations of more than 70 artists, works from prestigious collections, archive documents, photos and videos, in situ interventions, painted walls throughout the city, CAPITALE(S) presents a wide panorama of the Urban Art Movement and the importance of the Parisian scene spanning across the past 60 years.

The exhibition starts with pioneers from the 60’s and 70’s like Jacques Villegle, Raymond Hains, Ernest Pignon-Ernest or Zlotykamien.

Then the early 80’s feature the white man figures of Jerôme Mesnager, robots by Speedy Graphito and the proliferation of stencils by Miss Tic, Blek Le Rat, Mosko, Jef Aerosol, Epsylon Point.

This period of intense urban activity allows the emergence of artists’ collectives such as VLP (Vive la Peinture) affiliated with the punk culture or the Ripoulin brothers.

French-American teenager Bando (b. in 1965) introduced graffiti in France after writing in New York, followed by the New York City Rap Tour in 1982. Graffiti writers invade the banks of the Seine and adorn the palissades of the Louvre construction site. Stalingrad, a spot found by graffiti writer Ash, becomes the Hall of Fame for the prolific graffiti scene until 1989, featuring writers like Mode2, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Lokiss, Nasty, SKKI and numerous graffiti crew. In parallel  Psychose paints in the catacombs and the underground sewers system.

In 1987 Keith Haring paints the emergency staircase of the Hopital Necker to provide hopes of brightening the spirits of sick children in the world’s first pediatric hospital.

Like in the US, graffiti was severely repressed in Paris in the early 90’s. American artists like Futura, A-One or even Rammellzee gain recognition from the European artistic community and present their works in galleries and museums in Paris.  JonOne will settle permanently in Paris.

In the 2000’s, urban art has become a global movement with a multitude of techniques: from graffiti to street art, paste ups, stickers, stencils, mosaics and more. International artists are coming to Paris to leave their mark:  Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Banksy, Vhils.   

French artists have also gained international recognition: Andre, Invader, Zevs, JR, Dran, Lek and Sowat, Seth, L’Atlas, C215, Ludo, RERO, Philippe Baudelocque to Levalet.

Specially for CAPITALE(S), Invader has put two new aliases to be flashed for all the Flash Invaders addicts and shared a fully updated map of his invasion of the streets of Paris.

The exhibition presents also immersive and playful experiences.

Kashink, Kraken and Madame have created 3 entirely virtual works, hidden in a secret room of the exhibition: “The Fifth Wall“. A hunt for clues in Augmented Reality can be found through QR codes to be scanned under the works.

Visitors can try out graffiti with a digital spray can through GRAFFITI DIGITAL Picturae.

Artist Cristobal Diaz has created a GRAFF BOX, an immersive experience combining urban calligraphic production with playful digital devices featuring 250 artists.

While it is difficult to include the full scope of artists that have been active in Paris in the past 60 years within the City Hall, the four curators Magda Danysz, Elise Herszkowicz, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre and Marko93 have gathered following artists:

• Jacques Villeglé • Zlotykamien • Ernest Pignon-Ernest • Surface Active • Captain Fluo • Edmond Marie Rouffet • Blek le Rat • Miss.Tic • VLP • Speedy Graphito • Jean Faucheur • Mesnager • Mosko • Jef Aérosol • Bando • Ash • Jay0ne • SKKI • Keith Haring • Mambo • Nasty • Slice • Psyckoze • Lokiss • Shoe • Futura • A-One • Rammellzee • Jon0ne • André • Zevs • Dize • Invader • Shepard Fairey • JR • Vhils • Swoon • Banksy • C215 • L’Atlas • YZ • Seth • Tarek Benaoum • eL Seed • Ludo • Rero • Dran • O’Clock • Tanc • Lek • Sowat • Cristobal Diaz • Philippe Baudelocque • Levalet • Madame • Kashink • Vision • Pest • Greky • Sébastien Preschoux • Romain Froquet • Kraken • 9eme Concept • Les Francs Colleurs • Saype

There is also a prolific programme throughout the exhibition:

  • New murals will be painted at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin and in several Parisian districts,
  • A selection of pictures will be featured on the gates of the City Hall,
  • Workshops, conferences and screenings of films and documentaries.
  • A book accompanying the exhibition is available at Gallimard / Editions Alternatives

Big thanks to all the teams, artists, photographers, lenders and institutions that have participated to the exhibition, specially Clemence Demolling, as well as all the artists that have contributed to the scene over the past 60 years.

CAPITALE(S) – 60 ANS D’ART URBAIN

PARIS HOTEL DE VILLE ( Paris City Hall), 5 Rue Lobeau 75004 Paris

15 October – 11 February 2023

Free entry, but booking is essential here

Jef Aerosol – 40 years of stencils

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the first stencil by Jef Aerosol, French multi-talented artist (stencil artist, painter and musician) and one of the pioneers of Street Art and renown internationally.
Part of the first wave of street art in the 1980s, Jef Aerosol painted his first stencil in Tours, France in 1982, illustrating a self-portrait. Spanning across 40 years, Jef Aerosol’s work has been displayed in the streets and galleries worldwide, influencing many younger artists.

Under the curation of the Mathgoth Gallery, hundreds of artworks have been gathered for an extraordinary exhibition, hosted in a raw space of 600 square meters opposite the François Mitterrand Library in Paris. With free entry, the show runs until 5 November.

Jef Aerosol’s work is two folds. A part of the work is created in the public space, using multi-layered stencils to paper collages to creating black and white life size figures and animals in various situations, with a signature bright red arrow. Jef Aerosol often creates portraits of popular figures such as Elvis Presley, Gandhi, Lennon, Hendrix, Basquiat, Dylan, etc. But most of his work focuses on anonymous people from the streets: musicians, passers-by, beggars, children, and so on. The other takes place in calm and the intimacy of the studio in Lille where the artist designs his stencils and produces the pieces dedicated to the collections and to the galleries.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – London 2008
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – London Cans Festival 2008

Like his practice, this XXL exhibition is conceived in two folds, showcasing the work in the streets and the work conceived in the studio.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

Upon entering, a large wall section features some photos, personal documents and videos that allows the public to discover the universe of the artist, his inspirations and witness the evolution of his 40 years of creation.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

This space brings together studio works using recurring themes in Jef Aerosol’s work such as children, music, self-portraits, city landscapes and people.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

But the jaw dropping space hosts a monumental immersive installation echoing the urban environment and its chaos, featuring 200 spray painted life-size figures on cardboard.

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs

Jef Aerosol could not resist spraying in the surrounding areas :

Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol – Paris 2022
Jef Aerosol - 40 ans de pochoirs
Jef Aerosol & Jace – Paris 2022

Jef Aerosol – 40 ans de pochoirs
147 avenue de France, 75013 Paris
From 24 September 2022 to 05 November 2022

www.jefaerosol-40ansdepochoirs.fr

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