Banksy creates unique Jubilee tribute of the Queen as David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane
- The authenticity of the work has not yet been confirmed
- A darker reflection on the Jubilee appeared last month in London
By Damien Gayle
11:26, 4 June 2012
12:14, 4 June 2012
Banksy is believed to have made his own tribute to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations by stenciling a picture of Her Majesty as Aladdin Sane.
The graffiti artist-cum-mainstream pop culture icon is apparently behind the work, which shows the crown-wearing monarch sporting a jagged red stripe, just like the Seventies David Bowie creation.
The startling image of Elizabeth II – which sprang up as the country celebrated her 60 years on the throne – appeared on a wall previously used by the street artist.
Elizabeth Sane: The startling stencilled graffiti artwork, believed to be the work of Banksy, that has appeared on a Bristol street as the nation celebrates the Silver Jubilee
The image of the Queen with her eyes shut mirrors that of Bowie’s original Aladdin Sane album cover, with the main difference being the substitution of the original orange and blue face paint for a more patriotic red and blue.
Although the work is in his unique style, the homage to Her Majesty is out of character for Banksy, whose works usually carry a sharp anti-authoritarian political message. He has not yet claimed responsibility for the artwork on his website, where images of his graffiti are usually displayed.
Last month a Banksy-style stencilled artwork appeared on the side of a discount shop in East London showing a child hunched over a sewing machine with real Union Flag bunting attached.
That artwork, which the artist did claim credit for, was a rather obvious commentary on the sweatshop conditions in which many of the products used as part of Jubilee celebrations have been made.
Spot the difference: The two images of the Queen and Bowie as Aladdin Sane are remarkably similar in pose, but the latest artwork swaps the orange in the face paint for a more patriotic red and blue
Spectators stopped to stare at the latest stencil today, on Upper Maudlin Street, near the Bristol Children’s Hospital in the artist’s home city.
The wall’s original Banksy canvas showed a boy with a paper bag in his hands creeping up behind a sniper. It was covered with black paint and graffiti tags in October last year in an apparent attack by rivals.
In February another work, which appeared to show David Cameron and Boris Johnson as rioters, appeared on the wall.
There is some doubt as to whether this latest piece is the work of Banksy, however. Last month another commentary on the Jubilee was painted on the wall of a Poundland shop in Haringey, north London.
Sharp political message: This image of a boy slaving over a sewing machine with bunting attached appeared next to a Poundland shop in north London just in time for the Jubilee
That rather more political piece showed a young boy hunched over a sewing machine with real Union Flag bunting attached – a dark reflection on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Someone later removed the bunting, which was similar to a kind sold in the nearby discount shop. The authenticity of the work was confirmed when Banksy posted a photo of it on his website.
In the past, graffiti by the elusive artist has the values of nearby property to skyrocket. In 2008, a Portobello Road wall adorned with his name fetched £200,000 on eBay.
His work is known for its strident anti-establishment message, which has done nothing to damage his popularity among celebrities and the super-rich – his 2010 film Exit Through The Gift Shop was nominated for an Oscar.
At the 2004 Notting Hill Carnival, the prankster handed out spoof British £10 notes substituting the picture of the Queen’s head with Diana, Princess of Wales head and changing the text ‘Bank of England’ to ‘Banksy of England’.
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