Banksy artwork spotted in Northampton most likely a 'homage' - expert says

The supposed Banksy piece was found on a shed on Friday (October 22)

Monday, 25th October 2021, 3:40 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 3:42 pm
The artwork was spotted on the side of a shed in Billing Road East.
The artwork was spotted on the side of a shed in Billing Road East.

Artwork similar to an iconic piece by elusive graffiti artist Banksy has been spotted in Northampton.

Found on the side of a shed in the Billing Road East Allotment Gardens, the piece depicts Banksy's iconic Balloon Girl, later known as Love is in the Bin after a famous stunt left it half-shredded at auction.

If legitimate, this would be the artist's latest outing since his 'Great British Spraycation' in August which saw many new works created around the east coast of England.

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But sadly it is unlikely that the world-famous artist has visited Northampton on this occasion, according to one expert.

Professor Paul Gough, author of "Banksy: The Bristol Legacy" as well as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Arts at the University of Bournemouth, has spent years studying the artist's work. While he does not know if he has ever met the artist in person, the two have been in contact in the past during the writing of his book.

Gough believes that, while the art is most likely not the real deal, it shows a level of respect for Banksy that should not be overlooked.

He said: "In the past Banksy has tended to create one-off images in the public domain, so this is highly unlikely to be an original.

"However, I think we could consider it a form of 'homage' - a tribute to the power of this image and an opportunity taken by a local artist to share the image

"Banksy always chooses his locations very carefully and his timing is usually spot-on, chosen to chime with a major political event or to align with the national mood.

"He's secretive because at heart he remains on the wrong side of the law - painting graffiti on private property is illegal, but I think most of all he does not want to play a part in the circus of media celebrity, and of course he wants the work to carry a message, to maintain its edge, so that people focus on the message not the messenger."

Northampton might still be waiting for a visit from the artist but there is someone in the town who does a very good impression of his work.