Banksy Cheltenham Telephone Box Spies - The Meaning Behind The Art
With the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham, where better for Banksy to create a mural satirising government surveillance? Banksy’s Spy Booth artwork appeared on the wall of a privately-owned house overnight in April 2014. The mural was so popular with tourists, the Georgian house became one of the UK’s most photographed homes and was given listed status protection by Cheltenham Borough Council in 2015.
The Spy Booth artwork, which is the second most popular Banksy art purchased by Canvas Art Rocks’ customers in recent years, featured three government agents in brown trench coats and sunglasses listening in to conversations from a BT telephone box. It appeared after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 of widespread phone tapping by western governments.
Sadly, in 2016, the owner of the home featuring Banksy’s Spy Booth had to carry out urgent repairs to the property which resulted in the artwork being destroyed.
Banksy is renowned for his street artworks, which often use subversive or satirical imagery to tackle subjects such as war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Born in Bristol, UK, in 1974, he has become a household name by creating beautiful and truly thought-provoking art – which is seems to appear in public overnight. Banksy began his career as a graffiti artist and was part of a gang named DryBreadZ Crew. Although he began creating art freehand, he began using stencils in the late ‘90s and his work became widely recognised in the South West of England. In 2005, after many years of local media attention, Banksy’s work on the West Bank barrier, between Israel and Palestine, received significant media coverage by the world’s press.
In October 2013, Banksy took to the streets of New York City; he created one new piece of public artwork for each day of his stay. During his visit, he sold some of his art for as little as $60 – well below the market value of his work.
Despite being world-famous, Banksy’s identity remains officially unknown, in 2008, The Mail on Sunday reported that Banksy is Robin Gunningham – but he denied that he was Banksy. In 2016, The Mail on Sunday say scientists at Queen Mary University of London have used geographic profiling to prove that he is indeed Mr Gunningham.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hang a Banksy on your wall - Canvas Art Rocks’ huge collection of popular Banksy art can be purchased on canvas, poster and even as a vinyl sticker.
- Ryan Acres