Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Banksy: cop and pink balloon

It's been over a year since Banksy blew into town, a mysterious artist hiding his identity, letting his art speak for him (well, some art and a movie). While some of his graffiti works remain, I don't think anything survived untouched. The Lake Shore Boulevard painting of the police officer holding back a floating, pink balloon dog is still there with only the modifications that were done soon after the art went up - namely the dog's Grrr!, the white highlight with the vulture on top of the cop's head and the yellow "Robbin' BANKSY". You can see the original here on BlogTO and one of my post of the paintings here.
What I find fascinating is that the painting is still pretty pristine, other than the above noted additions, yet the barrels that were beside the graffiti still remain, rusting. I mean who leaves barrels outside like that? I think that it's something out of the Simpsons - they are full of spent nuclear fuel or toxic waste. I think Banksy realized the danger of these barrels - his dog was trying to get to the bad waste.
UPDATE Aug 2011: The building is surrounded by a big blue construction fence and large equipment has been ripping apart the exterior and interior. The former Ontario Provincial Police headquarters building from 1975 to 1979 (known as the Workers Compensation Building from 1953). The Province owns the building located at 90 Harbour Street and objected to a City of Toronto historic designation and the Ontario Realty Company has the site identified for development from mid 2010 and in February of 2011 the City issued a demolition permit. I think they will try to save the Banksy graffiti as it is covered over in plywood.
All that is visible is the three white dots which were added by another someone else. You can see the original work here.
The building being demolished.

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