Category Archives: London

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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Yoko Ono – Imagine Peace

Fifty-three years after Bed-In, Yoko Ono is staging a global intervention by pausing commercial advertisements on the world’s most prominent digital screens to share a message of peace with the global community. An invitation for the world to unite, Ono is broadcasting her powerful, universal mantra IMAGINE PEACE every evening at 20:22.

The public art installation presented by CIRCA in collaboration with Serpentine, will feature local translations of Yoko Ono’s message to the world. Launching 3 March on London’s Piccadilly Lights and screening across the CIRCA network in Los Angeles, Milan, Melbourne, New York, and Seoul every evening throughout March 2022.

IMAGINE PEACE by Yoko Ono

To coincide with this commission, Yoko Ono has created a new time-limited edition silkscreen print, available to purchase for one month only, with 100% of print proceeds to be donated to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Available exclusively on CIRCA.ART from 1 – 31 March 2022.

Banksy’s Game Changer generates £16.7 millions for the NHS charities

Earlier in March, it was announced that Christie’s auction house would be auctioning off Game Changer, the painting made by the elusive street artist Banksy in order to pay homage to NHS healthcare workers in the United Kingdom. The painting, which depicts a young child ignoring his superhero toys in favour of playing with one representing a nurse, has reportedly just sold for £16.7 millions (or approximately $22.9 millions), which is by far the highest price Banksy has ever fetched at auction. It’s both a great victory for the artist and for healthcare workers, because the money generated by the sale will be going to UK health charities.

Previously, the highest price Banksy had generated at auction was £9.9 millions, which was shelled out in 2019 for Devoted Parliament, the artist’s cheeky canvas depicting members of Britain’s parliament as chimpanzees. The higher price for the NHS-affiliated painting may have had something to do with the altruistic intent behind the sale; Banksy will donate the proceeds to “help support health organisations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS.” Additionally, in a statement regarding the sale of Game Changer, Christie’s said that the auction house will also “donate a significant portion of the Buyer’s Premium to these causes.”

When Game Changer first appeared in Southampton General Hospital (see our coverage here), it was almost stolen by a would-be thief brandishing a cordless drill. Fortunately, the saga of the painting appears to be ending quite well.

London: D*Face archived and unseen exhibition (Stolenspace)

D*Face London 2020

StolenSpace Gallery is showcasing a unique collection of archived and unseen works by D*Face, featuring some rare gems and editions that were meant to have been released but never were, as well as a few more misprints tucked away.

Its a great opportunity to step into D*Face creative world and discover some insights in his recreated studio space, as well as enjoy some recognisable characters and imagery, some of which have been misprinted or played around with to create truly special one-offs.

Thanks for sharing the experimentation process that goes into creating the perfect print!

D*Face London 2020
D*Face London 2020
D*Face London 2020
D*Face London 2020
D*Face London 2020
D*Face London 2020

In parallel to the show, D*Face painted a large scale mural in London, next to Kings Cross station.

London: Aida Wilde for disConnect Project

During during the COVID-19 pandemic,ten international artists have been invited by Schoeni Projects in collaboration with HK Walls to create site specific installations inside a Victorian house in South London for  ‘disCONNECT’. The exhibition reflects on the creative and physical constraints of the current global crisis, exploring psychological and political reactions to the crisis, as well as the role of technology as conduit between the two.

We reached out to Iranian born, London based artist Aida Wilde for more information on her installations.

Her iconic pink dotted wallpaper has gone literally viral, morphing into a Covid-19 virus shape. Slogans on the walls mention ‘99% ARE IN THIS TOGETHER’, ‘STAY THE FUCK AT HOME’ with an hug Emoji wearing a Burberry hat and a LV protective mask (a reference to luxury brands announcing that they would produce non surgical masks and protective equipment for frontline workers).

 

She transformed one of the house’s toilets as a ‘Pandemic Mausoleum’ with her signature text works on wallpaper, floor lino with slogans sharing reactions to the pandemic.

The ‘Pandemic Mausoleum’ is adorned with a site-specific wallpaper, based around a traditional 16th century Damask fabric. Patterns include Emoji’s that tells the capsule story of the pandemic (covid-19) with elements ranging from bats (which many believe was the source of the virus) to masked toilet roll hugging head, palm trees, joggers, rainbows, a house in lockdown, post boxes and not forgetting clapping hands ‘for our heroes”. The lino floor has been covered with ‘FEAR LESS / LESS FEAR’

Surrounded by everyday objects which have become totemic of the contemporary climate – toilet roll tubes donated by neighbours, discarded objects from “lock-down” spring cleaning and bottles of bleach sourced locally from the independent manufacturer Zamo – the works are presented alongside hazard tape, demarcating ‘socially distanced’ two metre intervals.

Aida Wilde also created specific paraphernalia: ‘Covid 19 Germ Warfare’ Tshirt and face masks are an ode to Keith Haring’s 1987 “Aids Is Political- Biological Social (Germ) Warfare” slogans. Various comparisons/similarities can be made between the two epidemics in terms of the hysteria attached to it, who and what is targeted (specific demographics/ race/ gender) eg. Black Men are 4 times more likely to get Covid 19 and more men have contracted the virus than women. The T-shirt is displayed inside a vacuumed sealed bag to further enhance the message of being “Germ Free- Dust Free” that is all illuminated by UV lights to further represent the annihilation of even more germs.

Playing with UV light, the viewers can read ‘The powerful are powerless against the invisible’ .  Close to the T shirt display, a series of Baskeball caps ‘Make the world covid free again’, are inspired by D. Trump’s infamous red ‘ Make American Great Again’ and his announcement that wearing a hat could protect from the virus.

Curtain lace banners ‘Notes From A Phantom’ display writings/poems and call to action that occurred during the UK lockdown in collaboration with Minneapolis based artist Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski. The two pieces with their gray texts are screen printed onto black lace, reminiscent of traditional face coverings in mourning and are a reference to the unlawful murder of George Floyd in the US and the Black Lives Matter protests that took place subsequently after the killing. They speak about the importance and the power of Stillness and Silence from the maddening world around them.

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Aida Wilde also transformed a notice road sign to reflect the ‘Changed priorities Ahead’ since the lockdown has slowed a lot of people down and forced them to reassess their priorities, from the daily exercise to observing nature.

Images courtesy of the artist

DisConnect is on view until 24 August 2020. The exhibition is also accessible to online audiences, where each work is further activated through an accompanying programme of digital initiatives, including downloadable art works, online videos, virtual tours and an Instagram Live interview series.

Full list of participating artists include : Adam Neate (UK); Aida Wilde (Iran); Alex Fakso (Italy); Mr.Cenz (UK); David Bray (UK), Herakut (Germany); Icy and Sot (Iran); Isaac Cordal (Spain); Vhils (Portugal); ZOER (Italy).

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