$120,000 for Banksy’s Jungle Book “Execution” Print

12 Jan

A poster version of the print, which was never distributed. From the Telegraph UK.

CNN International reports that a Banksy print recently sold for $120,000 on auction in London Tuesday. Some details:

The work, “Save or Delete Jungle Book,” went under the hammer alongside works by other urban artists as part of an Urban Art sale at Bonhams auction house in London.

The image was originally commissioned by Greenpeace for a poster campaign highlighting the problem of deforestation, with the characters transposed onto an image of a devastated forest. But the posters were never circulated due to copyright issues with Disney.

Seems to me that this work is a beautiful piece of political commentary. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it would qualify for the first-amendment satirical protection under which the Paul Krassner Disneyland Memorial Orgy is distributed.

Banksy’s work is always controversial, and has touched on Disney more than once. Perhaps most famously, his 2006 guerrilla installation at Disneyland commented on Guantanamo Bay. His documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, includes video footage of setting up the costumed dummy in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, as well as commentary from a cameraman who was detained by Disneyland police after the installation was discovered. It left me unsure of how comfortable I am with the private security forces at Disneyland, and their powers to detain persons of interest.

2 Responses to “$120,000 for Banksy’s Jungle Book “Execution” Print”

  1. Geoff Carter January 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Here’s the thing, though: I don’t think that Thierry Guetta was actually taken in by Disney security. I think his story was a fabrication, much as I believe that the whole “Mr. Brainwash” thing is little more than a practical joke by Banksy and Shepard Fairey. You don’t actually see footage of him being “apprehended,” even though he takes great pains to say that he “sneaked out the (memory card) in his sock.” Certainly, a few seconds of footage of Disney’s security crew, with faces blurred out, might have enlivened that sequence of the film?

    I’ve done time in Disneyland’s security office, years ago. Twice. It’s not fun, but it’s not Gulag-land, either. You’re braced by DL Security and, if you’re lucky, a couple members of the Anaheim five-oh. They don’t have FBI agents just hanging around, waiting for a street artist to tempt fate. But that’s just my experience. For all I know, this really happened to Thierry Guetta, but I have my doubts.

    Also: How in the hell did Banksy get his little art project past Disney’s ludicrous security-theater bag check? Seems like thus is _precisely_ the kind of thing they’d be looking for. That’s another rant, which I should probably take to my own bl-g. Thanks for putting up with me, Jen; sorry for blathering on.

  2. Jennifer January 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    On my favorite Tokidoki handbag, I wear a pin that says, “Never apologize for your art.” And I see rambling on as part of your art, Geoff!

    You know DL security better than I do, so I’ll take your word for it that the cameraman’s story was at least partly fabricated. The part about an FBI agent allegedly being there made me think that either the security staff or the cameraman was lying, since it does seem unlikely that FBI would just be hanging out on such short notice.

    As for getting the supplies past security? I don’t find that surprising, actually. The supplies weren’t that large, and could have been pretty easily concealed. Seems to me that, especially if one cases the joint ahead of time for strategies, some of the bag-search staff are far less scrupulous than others.

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