Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phone Message to City from Banksy; Graffiti Artist Brings Work to Newcastle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Phone Message to City from Banksy; Graffiti Artist Brings Work to Newcastle

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

A CRUMPLED red phone box with a pickaxe in the side is set to be the highlight of an art exhibition when it is unveiled in the North-East this month.

Bosses at the Baltic have received permission from Newcastle City Council to install the work, by the "guerrilla" artist Banksy, in a prominent position near Newcastle Quayside.

The unorthodox exhibit by the Bristol-born graffiti artist is expected to be placed under the bridge in Dean Street on October 30. The work, which is apparently bleeding, was erected in a street in Soho, central London, last April, but removed by Westminster Council.

Banksy, best known for painting a live elephant, is the most famous of the artists in the Baltic's Spank the Monkey exhibition -despite also being the most secretive - and Baltic director Peter Doroshenko has been confident of displaying one of his pieces during the exhibition since it opened last month.

But even he admitted he could not be sure when the piece would appear, or what it would be.

The Phone Box Project is believed to have begun when Banksy and his friends managed to buy a decommissioned red BT phone box.

They sawed it in half, welded the two pieces back together askew and stuck a pickaxe in one side before deploying the whole piece, with blood-like paint oozing from the side, in Soho.

The elusive artist, who began his career with freehand graffiti before discovering the art of stencilling, has hit the headlines around the world for his audacious and subversive work and his clandestine pranks.

He has hung his own works in some of the world's most prestigious galleries, tampered with hundreds of Paris Hilton CD covers and placed a life-sized replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee inside the Disneyland theme park in California. …

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