not all those who wander are lost

An early May 2010 piece done by BANKSY.

i remember when all this was trees

Here is his photo of it on Flickr.

And the BANKSY website.

That’s crazy that this guy did a piece in the partially demolished Packard Plant here in Detroit….It just sucks that somebody couldn’t save this thing. It is actually a very important piece..

But how the hell would you extract such a thing from a mangled corpse of a building like Packard ?

Ladies and gentlemen, the attempt is being made to save the piece, spearheaded by Monte from 555 !

I had come back to the site last night to take better photos of the Banksy, because I wanted to give a print to my uncle David. I stumbled upon the 555 people going about trying to preserve this piece – BRAVO !

The whole process was well documented, and here’s hoping for success. I have seen such attempts in the past with not much luck. (the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts zodiacal murals)

I could not stay to see if they were successful – we’ll have to wait and hear from 555 on that.

92 Responses to Saving BANKSY

  • re: 5/28 Banksy. Huzzah to that. No thing lasts forever, period. Better the phrase “life ever new through action ever new.”

  • “Graffiti isn’t meant to last forever. I’d prefer someone draw a moustache and glasses on one of my pieces than encase it in Perspex”

  • Is it not better for it to be preserved then ruined as most of his pieces are around the world? I would of rather viewed it in its original space but some dumbass would of painted over it so that can’t happen. As long as its free to view and they wont make money of it seems they did the right thing. I do think it should be, as someone else said, be displayed in an installation setting with rubble and small tree around it to give it more of the original context.

  • All gone! The rat in Warren was painted over this week.

  • Yeah, the banksy gettin old – eh ? lol.

  • Soooo dfunk, when are the detroitfunk/Banksy photopic T-shirts going to be available?


    I couldn’t resist.

  • Thank you dfunk, for your wise insight into this matter and bringing up the fact that it’s a good discussion to be having. Unfortunately, typical of Detroiters, as well as Metro-Detroiters, the use of the language…”white people at the Packard Plant…” “art fags” “broads” stands out as what segregates more than the discussion itself.

    555 is a nonprofit arts organization that has been run strictly by volunteerism since 2002. Everything they have accomplished as an organization and for the community has been through very very small grants that go directly to children’s art classes and visiting artists. 555 survived many years on heart, passion, and money from the co-founders pockets. The “theft” “for profit” doesn’t make sense if you know anything about the organization or the gallery that’s part of the organization.

    One idea might be to donate it to MOCAD or the DIA to make it more accessible and to increase public dialogue about the arts. We are in the shit can in Michigan in regards to supporting arts and culture, the city of Detroit’s infrastructure is f@#ked.

    Chill out and let’s put some energy into supporting hetero, homo, trans, bi, white, black, asian, male, female, (etc) artists. Be positive and communicate rather than point ignorantly at just a small tip of a discussion that we can have about public art in Detroit.

    That said, thanks for the all of the comments, very intriguing.

  • Again, Im glad this piece was photographed immediately in its original state and surroundings. People vandalize Banksy’s work to establish a name for themselves or to be downright insulting (ex. San Fran, CA) and some remove in hopes to make a quick buck (ex. $30,000 Rat). I frown upon these types of folks but they exist non the less and such things happen to street art. Its a shame what happened to the “DiamondGirl” piece. I don’t know the 555 “non-profit” Gallery people or their intensions but I hope they take into consideration the views of the community so not to make a bad name for themselves. These recent works are by far not Banksy’s best but they have stirred controversy and emotion on a global scale which makes him even more powerful and respected/envied in the art world than money can buy. Thats brilliant. And Im glad he put Detroit on the global map with his visit and works. Mad props to those blowin up the streets and trainyards nightly and to those as well that take a moment to appreciate or see things from another perspective. “ART”

  • I think tightrope rat is the perfect example of why the pieces should have stayed where they are. Perfect in their place, and will live only as long as we let them. I don’t think what 555 did was wrong really either, it was getting taken down eventually anyway. I think no matter what the pieces served their purpose, Banksy and his movie got some press, 555 gets a new piece or two, we all look at the dump a that is the old Packard Plant and hopefully we will be collectively motivated to clean that sh@@ up and plant a couple trees. And maybe we will all keep an eye out for our local taggers who probably have a lot more important things to say about the state of our city.

  • It’s marketing genious!

  • The way to insure the Banksy could last and be remembered would have been a really good photo and video documentation of the piece in context–Andy Goldsworthy like. Unfortunately its original context has now been lost on all but the few who got to see it before it was taken. Its chance to speak its pure truth is now gone and 555’s action has turned the work into a commodity–even if they don’t ever sell it–they’ve put a different kind of value on it and changed its meaning.

  • I see 555’s action as selfserving. Graffitti art equals sandcastles; meant to remain where they are created until the tide pulls them away.

  • This is street art. It belongs where the artist decided it should be. This piece in particular is entirely about context — the surrounding’s decay and dilapidation. Now that’s been stolen, defeating the entire point. It’s no one’s to dismantle and remove under the guise of “preservation” or anything else. No one’s. That’s wrong. Poor decision and bad judgement. As good as the 555 organization’s intentions might be, they’ve in fact missed the point. And ruined a fine moment in Detroit’s art history.

  • Mixed feelings here, great points on both sides. Because this is a Banksy piece a lot of reasoning goes out the window in my mind. In the UK they cover his pieces with plexiglass,,is that what he really wanted when he painted it? The establishment embracing his work? Should 555 have taken it? I don’t know,,I wish I could have seen it in it’s original setting. With a piece like this natural surroundings make all the difference. When it’s displayed at 555 it’s not going to have the same effect.

    With that said, it probably wouldn’t have lasted too long. Street art is supposed to be temporary that’s half the fun…so I’m torn.

  • We are talking about the guy who owns THIS coming out to complain about a demolished wall being stolen after it had been vandalized ? (A wall made of cinder block that now does not need to be knocked down and loaded on a truck and put in a landfill.)

    Yeah – if its the City of Detroit who owns this 7 story half collapsed monstrosity…well, I dont think they want to poke their heads in on this conversation.

    If it is a private party who owns Big Slumpy – well, show yer head fella. Im sure there are a lot of people with a lot of questions for that person or company.

    The area where the Banksy was, is across Bellevue from the other side of Big Slumpy here.

    Big Slumpy also is attached to the structures across Bellevue, by a multistory, half collapsed-onto-the-road car overpass.

    Big Slumpy is shown here on the right. The Banksy was in the partially demolished area to the left, just on the other side of the collapsed overpass.

  • Pingback: Saving Banksy
  • Uhhh…. Does this mean I’m not going to be able to visit this piece in my hometown a fucking week after its been made?

  • “Banksy trespassed, so it is OK to steal a wall. Good talk.”

    In a court of law, that is called having “unclean hands”. Example: somebody breaks in your house and steals your weed, and all the car stereos that you worked so hard to steal. You go to court with that, and the judge will use that phrase, “unclean hands”. You cant use the law to enforce or protect illegal activities.

    So to be clear: Banksy trespassed (only technically, as there are absolutely no signage or barriers or any attempt to secure these buildings) and vandalized a portion of a demolished building.

    555 may have stolen this from somebody, but again – I challenge anybody to figure out WHO OWNS Packard, and then if you can get those people in court to bitch about their demolished wall being removed…..Well, again, you have somebody in court without “clean hands”, asking for justice in the middle a GIGANTIC crime of complete abandonment – that we all affectionately call “The Packard Plant”.

    See my post “Smashing Packard” to see conditions on this property. Tell me that the “owner” is going to come out of the woodwork and show his ugly head to bitch about banksy, and Ill tell ya you are nuts.

    But those arguments are ALL technicalities.

    I believe most here are concerned with ramifications in the art world and the local detroit art community.

  • MEan – sorry dude, you got stuck in the spam filter. Got your comment up now.

  • @warsaw no dont go to slows and i dont rock American Appeal v-necks. I am no hipster. But if you have any old tees in good condition i would love to have them.
    We should talk about this over Teleway burgers and coffee.

  • Ok, I’m to lazy to read all of this right now but just so I have it correct… Banksy trespassed, so it is OK to steal a wall. Good talk.


  • @mastaace didn’t I see you at Slow’s rocking an american apparel v-neck? Anyways I am sick of promoting the 555 Gallery, I am done…….

  • the rat is still there. at least it was at about 8pm yesterday.

  • Right on Dennis, where are the outraged people outside the DIA demanding that all the looted and pillaged artifacts and art be returned to the nations and regions they were originally stolen from ? And what possible use is the Ishtar Gate piece out of its original context ? Shouldnt it have perished with the rest of the civilization that produced it ? And I wonder what the Assyrians would have to say about us paying to go see a chunk of their Gate ? They must be spinning in their Ziggurats.

  • Saw this in the morning paper and it piqued my interest. I’m of the pre-grafitti age, so I have some questions about how this argument goes. If this was a piece by a less “famous” grafitti person- would it be ‘saved’ for all to see, like sculptures in a museum labelled “anonymious”? Also, I guess I’m missing the point of the message- a youngster remembering that area’s trees? There hasn’t been tree stands in that area since the 1800’s. I had family friends in that neighborhood that we took the trolley to visit, it was a bustling urban landscape. Would it have been better to use the word community in place of the trees if he was attempting to make a point? Or, perhaps I’ve been spending time pondering a terrific satire a la a Mad Magazine pictoral. Dig the discussion about it. Ownership/ authorship questions seem like big issues coming with our advanced technology, although museums and private collections have loaded up themselves with art taken from their origions throughout history- imperious priviledge or a desperate attempt to have a complete, accurate memory. I give.

  • Wow. I think this might set a “comment” record for Dfunk. Great points made by all.

    That said, I think perhaps that Detroit’s “street art” may have reached a point where it’s gone beyond just making a “statement” and has now become a collectable (and therefore sellable) product in parts of the art world.

    Detroit is the trendy worldwide symbol of “urban decay”, which I think makes the better pieces of street art even more emblematic and in demand.

    With all the attention Banksy is getting these days, that hunk of wall would probably bring some big money at an auction. Similarly, “Diamond Girl” and other well-rendered pieces would likely generate some decent bidding as well, seeing as it has the provenance of once existing on a street of Detroit.

    Frankly, I think we’re going to see more of this “looting” in the future. It’s kind of ironic that the work of street artists might further assist in the city’s deconstruction.

    And I’ll bet you $5 that 555 is soon going to be served with a lawsuit challenging their ownership/possession of the wall.

  • I wonder how banksy would feel about it.
    from his 2009 show is a piece of wall which looks visually as taken with a statement of “The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.” pablo picasso. in this case the pablo picasso is scribbled out and a handwritten banksy is scratched under neath it. free powerful statement

  • Well honestly, the “art as commodity” issue is where I do start to have trouble with re-contextualizing this piece. Putting a street painting or actual graffiti into a gallery space implies to me that the piece now has a potential “sell-able” value. I believe a large component in the power of graffiti, is the fact that it can not be bought or sold. This flies in the face of western thinking in regards to most art. Most Americans, for example, can only assess an artist based on the market value of his or her work. This thinking would leave the art history books with no Vincent Van Gough, of course. But worse, it implies a market driven source of inherent value for artworks, which really undermines the entire concept of quality and talent and skill. Because if value be market driven, then success of art will be merely the result of good marketing skills, rather than from being a brilliant statement of a talented and skilled artist.

  • once removed it loses its context.the money that its worth is the key to all of this.banksy could have easily painted something for 555 if he wanted to.blah blah blah…

  • @dfunk very good on on the thief vs. Trespass vs Vandalism. The entire art form of street art is based and founded on illegal activity. Vandalism on private or public property is illegal and trespassing to create, view, or remove such work is illegal. So @warsaw your argument is a moot point.

    This is clearly an issue of ideology. On one end you have the purest. The ones that want things as they where. So the meaning and context are as clear as day. Their intention are good, focused, and sometime elitist. (And i mean elitist in a snobbish way). Not everyone wants to run the risk of trespassing to view the work. Children that could be inspired to become artist after viewing the work, reading the story and thinking all of this is cool. An elder who agrees with the social commentary that knows nothing of Banksy, but all about Detroit and her struggles. Those people may have never been exposed to Banksy or ever had a respect for the art form.

    Then you have the Conservationist, they view things in a much large scale for the greater good? very often vilified for the efforts. But they feel that what they are doing is right. Even if it is wrong. Did 555 cheap urban explorers and lovers of the art out out a pure “Banksy Experience”. YES. Is that wrong YES. Who is 555 to dictate how I view my art. I want my Banksy’s in the streets.

    I personaly feel that all the anger towards 555 should be placed on yourselves. It seems to be an inner hate that comes from jealous. If you had the means would you take the piece? Really??? Knowing all you know about the artist, and how “people” are (human nature), scrapper rapping the city??? How long do you think the work would have lasted in its original state?

    Yes it is the nature of the art to be transient. But art has the right to be protected for the future. Here today gone tomorrow. So the art form is transient and illegal. No wonder lots of people dont respect it. MAKE IT RESPECTABLE!!!

    @Bob Zabor i dont think 555 is claims “ownership”, i think that they are just protecting it for the public. I am sure in due time 555 will make a official statement, and allow public viewing of the work.

    As for the people at took “Diamond Girl” are you going to put the work up for display? Will you display with the piece that 555 has. Will you give it to MOCAD or the DIA???

    Further more Banksy is a piece of shit and you hipsters should get off his dick. He is laughing at all of this right now. Also based on the pictures of “Diamond Girl” he did his work over a tag. WFT??? I guess there is no honor among thieves….

    so sorry for the rant, the weed and pills have fulling taken over my system…

  • “To play Devil’s Advocate here: if you want to talk about “theft”, you also have to talk about “trespass” and “vandalism” too, right ? If 555 trespassed, then Banksy trespassed.”

    that is called playing irrelevant argument devil. sorry.

    the fact of the matter is, 555 gallery deprived many people of seeing it in person in its original context through banksys eyes.

    and yes, they STOLE it from its intended location. yeah, he may have put it there illegally etc…but thats what we love about banksys work, that is its awesome chorus that you remember…what makes it great. if he had made his start doing paintings for galleries it would be different.

    and furthermore…a non profit gallery for up and coming artists in detroit has no business trying to preserve any art made by an already well established foreign artists work just DAYS after it is made.

    bullshit on the whole thing…im sure everyones outrage will inspire them to do the right thing but the damage has already been done for me and im sure many others who didnt get to experience it in person in its intended location and context.

    if it doesnt get donated to the city of detroit to be displayed in a public and free space then those guys are just crooks.

  • Warsaw wrote: “Ok first and foremost let me start by saying Detroit Funk I am NOT condemning you at all.”

    That’s cool dude, all good ! This is a great conversation, and I’m digging on a lot of what you guys are saying.

    To play Devil’s Advocate here: if you want to talk about “theft”, you also have to talk about “trespass” and “vandalism” too, right ? If 555 trespassed, then Banksy trespassed.

    If Blightbusters came and buffed the Banksy, everybody would be all happy. Because it is “blight”, right ?

    And the word “steal” inherently implies that there is originally ownership of an object. Are we saying that Banksy “owns” the wall he vandalized, and 555 “stole” Banksys act of vandalism ? They stole the residue of his vandalism ?

    Please somebody tell me who owns that flattened portion of Packard, because I think at this point nobody is going to step up and admit owning that site. Because their shit is laying all over Bellevue Avenue where that overpass collapsed.

  • @Sarah you like the promotion of theft too right?

  • I agree with the people wishing it would have been left alone, but I’m also glad that a really cool, distinct piece of Detroit’s history in a time that will probably be really historically significant later on is pretty neat, too. Like, if Detroit gets back on its feet eventually, it will be an awesome reminder of where it came from. I lived in Liverpool and Banksy went hog wild all over town – it was amazing. And most of the things he done have been left alone. It’s really cool. It sucks when they disappear, but that’s part of the allure. I like that this one’s being preserved, though.

  • Any chance of still seeing tightrope rat? Or is it gone now too?

  • No. No. No. Taking it was wrong. It was mine and my neighbor’s as much as 555’s before, and now its their’s alone. I feel ripped off again, regardless of the intentions. short-sighted. selfish. aren’t we poor enough? where am i gonna take visiting friends now, a gallery? they have galleries everywhere. a banksy in the rough, that’s a real treasure. it’s just a shame. crap.

  • @Tine thank you for wasting your time typing that well thought out defense, it was a very noble attempt to defend a sketchy, desperate art gallery. It is simple. It is THEFT! The Packard Plant is private property, they went into the Packard Plant and removed a wall and was documented through this Web site. What don’t you get?

  • It is really dumb to preserve Banksy’s work. Come on, all street arts are meant to be temporary. It is more special to see it in person and next day it is gone. It is all about seeing and experience it. This will ruin the whole meaning of the street art. Way to go, stupid.

  • I’d like to know if the 555’s effort were actually successful, given that previous attempts to salvage Banksy’s works have failed.

    Those who work for the 555, how has reassembling the piece been going? And when will the public be able to view it?

    Secondly, from reading the Process Theory’s post, it seems like they got the idea from hearing about the 555 gallery’s removal at the Packard, but I could be wrong about that.

  • ok, so i have read through this entire blog.. WOW! The comments towards 555. I’m not sure anyone stating that they are “art theifs” can really prove that they “stole” this piece. It’s your own thoughts and concerns on where this piece will go, what they will gain.. Why don’t we see what comes of this, before we assume anymore? After studying 555 gallery for some time now, I see they are doing the right thing in Detroit, for our local art scene and the scene of Detroit itself. Our city is falling apart around us.. I see 555 is trying to boost moral and do better for the city. If trying to “save” this piece was the intention of this gallery, WOOT…One, atleast they are not destroying the piece. And that is what the demolition crew would have done. YEah, Yeah I get that art to this nature, is supposed to be left where it is, I have studied this art form myself, I have studied Banksy, I know what it is all about. As for what I think, 555 probably just wanted to “save” the good in Detroit. We are holding onto thin thread here people. We need to save all the good we have. To promote what is done here, in all industries of the city. Regardless if it was art to be left alone or not. Don’t you feel that 555 was proud that we had such a huge artist come to our city and provide us with this? Maybe the gallery wants to promote the good, to feel the good, to see the good for inspiration..WE NEED IT!!! Secondly, who are all of you to judge this gallery on their intentions of what they will do with it. Maybe they have something grand up their sleeves.. displaying this piece will add something great to the city. If it is displayed in the gallery or elsewhere throughout the city. COME ON, give them a break… when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. right? To end my portion of this blog, I don’t feel all Graffiti art has to be left in the state it was produced. A well-known pinstriper in Ypsilanti known as Sethro (Disorder Studio), has done several “graffiti” pieces throughout our city that was Removable for everyone to enjoy.. and that they did! It was a game, a hunt, to find the next piece.. It was a great promotion for him as well as an inspiration to all local artists in our area.
    So let’s savor what we have left of Detroit, praise what has been done here and quit complaining about nonesense, this will only prohibit us to move forward and gain the respect that DETROIT really needs right now.
    As for the negative art going on in Detroit, leave your shit off of the Train Station… that is what we can bitch about. :)

  • Yes, taking away the piece from it’s original environment takes away from it’s meaning. I guess you need to look at it from a Detroit perspective. Would you want 555 getting this piece or these guys? Who has the best intention?

  • @ Ricardo.. 555 stole 3 pieces? there is only 4 known banksy’s that popped up in Detroit. 555 got the Packard one.. the “tightrope rat” is still up as of now that i know of, “diamond girl” was stolen but I am sure it wasn’t by anyone at 555, and the last one of the boy drawing a palm tree got washed by the building maintenance. I glad 555 thought enough to persevered that piece before it got tagged over or the wall knocked over, that piece will stay in Detroit!

  • 555 Gallery = ART THEIFS!!! I will make sure that everybody knows that they steal street art for their own profit. Please don’t say because you have a DOT ORG website address that you will not benefit from one of the worlds most famous graff artists. How can you just flat out out steal three BANKSY pieces for your own gallery??? WOW, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Preserving his art? Hardly.

  • Wow, I did not know the “artists community” was so strident in their opinions, I thought that was for us industrial-age working stiffs!
    It would seem as if this ‘Bansky’ guy travels around the world, wonder how he ended up inside Packard?! You gotta know he was scared!! We drove around it and got worried!

  • Taking it away from the original site takes it out of the hands of the public and makes it far less accessible to the public in general,unless the 555 gallery is open 24 hours a day with free admission.

    Moving it to their gallery does open it up to people who were less likely to visit the packard, but one can argue it wasn’t made for those types of people in the first place. Those artsy-fartsy types are the reason street art has thrived, specifically to show that art can exist outside of stuffy galleries. The entire process is interactive and always evolving, and if something were to happen to the peice, well “them’s the brakes kid.” But I’d rather venture into the packard to see a dissed banksy, and stand were he stood then see it butchered and hacked from the wall in some gallery. Putting it there gives it all the majestiy of a lion in a cage that’s far too small. It’s original location also puts more attention to the packard plant, alerting people to it’s decay and the tons of local talent also there, by putting it in some comfy gallery you take away that exposure, and you take away the adventure of sneaking in, finding it for yourself, and possibly leaving your own mark. Instead that exposure it placed on 555. Convenient, no?

  • I can see where 555’s thinking about saving the piece came from a good place, but flat out they fkd up by removing the piece. By removing the piece from it’s setting they massacred a large part of the pieces impact. It’s very point was to BE WHERE IT WAS INSTALLED. It’s location was as much a part of the composition as the paint he used to make it, and by removing it 555 gallery effectually neutered a very large part of the artworks message. Not only that, but the art was meant for everyone.. to stay and be a part of the environment for all to see and contemplate until mother nature decided it was time to go. By “preserving” the piece 555 has stolen a potentially positive experience from an unimaginable number of people who will never see the piece because they have no knowledge of the galleries existence.

    The fact that 555 didn’t take this into account and leave the piece at LEAST for a FKN WEEK(?!?!) sickens me as a Detroiter and as a part of it’s art community.

    The person who thought of this preservation had good intentions, I’m sure, but in my opinion it’s a really really really stupid thing to do. When the dust settles, 555 will have more egg on their face than they can afford as a functioning gallery in this community. I can’t even imagine how pissed off Banksy is..As an person and a street artist I am insulted by this action. Unacceptable!

  • This is the worst shit ever! 555 should be BANNED from doing anything in this city. WTF ppl! im not even that into Banksy but come on “preserve” who the fuck can possible think thats ok? whether his intent was this or that or whether 555 intent was this or that, its a completely selfish act to say “we’re preserving this, so come to our gallery so the ppl can see this” are you fucking kidding me! come to the wall in which it was sprayed if the ppl want to see this. and if it goes away, then it goes away. the commodification in this scheme only happens when clueless self-absorb ppl place it into the gallery. dont we all know that once the object enters the gallery it enters the world of commodity? whether you buy it or not, once it is in the gallery realm it is now preserved as something with a potential price.

  • Ok first and foremost let me start by saying Detroit Funk I am NOT condemning you at all. I love your site, your photographs and the justice you do for Detroit. My bug-a-boo is with 555 Gallery. Anyway you cut it, it is theft. Yes I agree that if you didn’t take it down someone else will, which is evident on the Van Dyke piece. But don’t you think that is the risk that he was willing to take? I am not condoning what the thieves of the other pieces did , but what you did was just as bad and you leave a bad taste in my mouth, as well as many other people’s mouths. You claim you are preserving it, nice attempt to sugar coat things. You are placing it in your gallery for recognition, you are putting it in your gallery for publicity. In closing I hope Pest Control and the rest of the art world has a field day on your false attempt and hope for some sort of notoriety. Again thank you for once again giving Detroit a negative image.

  • I get people’s comments that street art loses some meaning when removed from the street. Ok, sure, it does. But it also gains new meaning in a gallery when it’s seen and experienced by people who wouldn’t necessarily swing by the Packard Plant. Ideas form, conversations ensue, inspiration occurs. If those are the results of a piece being viewed in a gallery, is it really a bad thing?

    Banksy’s a darling now, everyone knows this. He may like it or not like it. You may like it or not like it. But this is how the art world works. Some work is exalted and placed on a pedestal, some fades and slips into obscurity, and a million permutations in between.

  • Apparently, Banksy is even included in the Blog “Stuff White People Like”. That’s why all those white people were at Packard.

  • When do the rest of us lowly Detroiters get to view his work? And why does it now have to be in a gallery setting? I went out to see the one at Circle Cleaners and ‘poof’ already gone and into the safe walls of the 555 where a fraction of the people who could have seen it will.

  • Warsaw – first of all, to my knowledge, 555 has not publicized this event at all. It was honestly me walking up on them by happenstance, and documenting what I saw. At this point, I am hoping that 555 is not upset with me making this public if it has caused them undue attention. For that – my apologies to anybody involved, and to 555.

    As for fuck them and me too if I think what they did was good – I’ll take that dude. You got the right to say that, and for my part, Ill take it.

    I do not share your opinion that this is in any way a “negative spotlight” issue. The fucking Packard is a ridiculous and insane site, which has been allowed to sit in this condition for ages. Wide open. We live here, and we almost become blind to the insanity – and find our selves spending energy nipping about some spray paint on a wall. I am a painter with a degree in fine art, so i will be the first to get on a soap box about the importance of art from a cultural and historical standpoint.

    But THAT does not rank over the outrage of the conditions in the City of Detroit.

    What we have here is actually a pretty interesting academic debate about art, context, and the issues of publicity and commodity when it comes to presenting art in a community gallery situation.

    But read that word, academic.

    So that means we are in reality all tittering tapping away on our laptops, drinking our coffee and such…while we go about having a hipster debate about some fancy pants street art.

    Banksy the trickster got tricked on by Monte – at the worst.

    At the best, Banksy is sitting somewhere out there, maybe up in Canada – quite impressed at Montes respect and admiration of his work. It is one Banksy in the world, that wont get buffed.

  • I will go on blast and say this fuck 555 and if you stand by what they did as preservation then the same goes to you. It is straight up theft and are just looking for a way to get their shotty gallery in the spotlight. 555 you have shot yourself in the foot, if you think this publicity stunt is going to do anything for your cause you have got another thing coming. Thank you for putting Detroit in a negative spotlight once again.

  • At this point, Banksy is no longer a street artist but an artist putting his work on the street.

    The value in Banksy isn’t in the craft of his stencil but the context in which it is placed and the meaning provoked from experiencing the piece in it’s surroundings.

    If Banksy is true to his word, and his intention, he’s probably already working under a different moniker with a different style…using Banksy as a commercial business to support himself and many others.

  • Uhm. These guys are idiots. Remind me never to go to 555 again

  • theft…straight up.

  • Jeez defunk, looks like you need to start a forum section from the amount of replies on this post!

    Preserving this is no different than preserving a vintage sign and displaying it out of context in a “sign museum”.

    Actually, what I would like to see is 555 take a section of the steel beam, the surrounding corner blocks, and a couple yards of the contaminated earth around the site and recreate it as a diorama in the gallery. Call it an “installation”, as it were…

  • That is where we differ. Yes it often feels tragic when a great piece of art dies but sometimes that is the natural progression, the intention. Given the placement of this piece and the history of Banksy himself that intention seems apparent. Whether profiting from it’s possession or simply using this to create a name for themselves; the act of removing this piece as an “act of preservation” is selfish and misguided at best.

  • @ashlee – first of all yes, those are my words, “saving” – but they are NOT the words of 555 or anybody connected to the preservation of this piece. It is in fact an act of preservation, which does not have the “rescue” connotation that my word “saving” does. I am the only one here boasting about what they did, because it is my opinion that what they did was good, and at the very least was done of the best possible intentions.

    555 can speak for themselves, and I know for a fact Monte will sit down with anyone and talk about all the ins and outs and angles of art – for hours. He has done more personally for the Detroit art scene than ANYBODY I can name. (there may very well be people who work as hard, or harder, Im just saying I know this guy is the real deal) He is also a great painter in his own right.

    This piece would die as soon as the nibbler came to put those steel beams in the heap headed for the scrap metal yards. Only a matter of days. Preserving it is good.

    So is any kind of conversation about art.

  • I know Banksy was just up here, this way in Toronto over the weekend…when did this piece appear?–banksy-s-street-art-sets-toronto-abuzz

  • It makes me cringe that so many are applauding this. The mere fact you’ve titled this post “Saving Banksy” is a farce. The point of “street art” is for it to exist in it’s natural environment, it is by nature temporary. Disappointing when a good piece fades away? yes. But that’s life. More meaning in that than some art fags cutting it out and sticking it in a gallery shortly after it’s appeared. The power of that piece was in it’s environment. Outside of that what does it say? He created this piece in the midst of demolition. The nature of the piece in that setting, is such a social commentary I just can’t fathom how someone could miss the point to such a degree that they’d remove it and boast that they were “SAVING!” it

  • Thanks some Shmo


  • (melissa) the diamond girl was on the circle cleaners bldg. Bravo 555! you guys are chuck-full of integrity!

  • “true artist help protect what they believe in”

    For people who have not had a show at 555 or have not been to one. I welcome you to stop by.


  • where was diamond girl located? I can see from the photo someone had been working, so I won’t even bother to go, just curious

  • art should be free in any form. look at it and take it. if its outside its free for the taking. if you want to go to the lengths of taking a wall down to get a piece of art, go for it. banksy like all artists, will do something else somewhere else for people to talk about.

    eat humans

  • The message of this piece is lost when it is removed from the Packard setting. Again, as many have expressed here, it should remain untouched, as is. It’s not about how long it lasts…look at his other work…

  • Transfer of the art is safe. Seen it in it’s wooden frame– in tact. This will be open to the public, no profiteering at all, just saved for the people to see.

  • political statement? you realize these are stencils, and will be applied elsewhere within the coming days… pure? how is it some “one of a kind” shit if he’s plastering it everywhere? the artists that design wear pastes for movies that are plastered everywhere are just as taleneted, but their soulless reproduction steals from any character that once existed…banksy has done some cool shit, but now he is cashing in…. this fool is gonna dwindle out once the urban outfitter crowd dies down…

  • I doubt anyone is afraid of a place overrun with suburban hipsters and gay superheroes.

  • Diamond Girl is probably a goner now as well. Who took this piece?

  • Of course you can say it should stay. But even when it is going to look like THIS in a few days ? That is a painting just feet away.

  • The piece should stay where it is at. If banksy wanted to do a piece for 555, he would have.

    lasagna cat, how do you know he did not GO into the packard and why does it matter anyway?

  • ooh you’ve taken nice day flicks of some of my stuff… i should hit up dude at 555.

  • Yeah, I dont think it is being taken to make any money. And it wouldnt be there for long if left in place, so nothing has been desecrated.

    But yeah, you still have valid points about the artists intent, for sure.

  • who the hell are they to take that?
    Personally, I think Banksy’s done better work, this one’s kinda corny, but nonetheless Banksy put it there for a reason, for anyone who cared enough to enter the death-trap to see it. These guy’s aren’t “rescuers” they’re theives about to make some money off street art. By taking it and puting it in some gallery they’re taking away the message it had

  • Ah – nobody can bag on 555 for not representing Detroit. If somebody thinks the Detroiter writers and painters are under represented, get them together, and hit Monte up for a show. Make it happen. Its what 555 is about.

  • The funny thing is banksy obviously did not GO into the packard, he just went in that one door on the south side off of concord by the motel, did that up, and got out. Pretty lame if you ask me. And, the packard is FULL of trees. But, he wouldn’t know, he just went in and went out like a scaredy cat.

    555 is just doing their thing, too bad they’re not taking out a wall with an old Dead Krak Head or something that represents Detroit.

  • I dont disagree with what you are saying R.

    Check out my graf archives:

  • You have got to be kidding me. Do you people even understand the nature of graffiti? You jump on this guy as a street artist with important social commentary, but completely ignore the social commentary the kids are leaving on the streets on a daily basis. It is easily arguable that artists like porab, oil, paid, gasm, demer, are exponentially more important to the art scene of Detroit than this guy will ever be. They live in this environment. He simply came in and made a statement without any understand of the scene at all.

  • no graf is sacrosanct, everything is temporary.

  • thats some bu11shit
    not the art but the act of removing the art.
    Banksy put it there because he wanted it there
    Dont belong to them broads. Worse than
    the scrappers and arsonists

  • Wow!, Wonder how Bansky would feel about this.?
    At least it was photographed in its original state before being removed,
    Where will this end up? Who will profit from this? Who gets the glory? Whatever…
    Bansky is obviously a passionate artist with a love for the streets.
    Why else would it be there??? Thanx for visiting Detroit:)

  • Wow. That’s an incredible work of art, for sure. As pure as an artistic statement as there could possibly be. Here’s hoping the city saints at 555 are successful, and that this can be preserved as social commentary for years to come. Your documentation of urban art is instrumental, as well.