‘Saving Banksy’ is a documentary following art collector Brian Greif who removed a stencilled Rat by Banksy from the side of Red Victorian, a building located in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. His initial intention to preserve and donate the rat to a museum for the public proved unsuccessful (because no museum would accept graffiti as art). However this triggered interest from art dealers and auction houses…
Though Banksy’s street work is deemed illegal by authorities, and will not be authenticated by Pest Control, his works have been removed by art dealers and re-sold at auctions for hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the artist himself receives nothing.
Directed by Colin Day and narrated by Paul Polycarpou, the film features interviews with renowned street artists from all across the globe including Ben Eine, Risk, Revok, Niels Mueman, Blek Le Rat, Anthony Lister, Doze Green, Hera and Glen E Friedman.
Some quotes from the interviewed artists:
Ben Eine: “Right now, today, I wouldn’t want one of my paintings preserved. In a hundred years time, when I’m dead, and none of them exist, I would love to have one of my paintings preserved. It’s a double-edge sword.”
RISK: “You can love my stuff, you can hate my stuff, you can steal my stuff . . . but give me the right to decide what I wanna sell or not sell.”
Doze Green: “It’s selfish to take something down that was put there for the public to love . . . or hate, but it was meant for the public.”
The documentary raises awareness about the complex political, legal situation, and question of ownership of art left in the streets.
The film premiered at the Nashville Festival earlier in April and will be released this autumn. More info on savingbanksy.com