Original street art by Banksy being shown in Laguna Beach for the first time at Artist Republic gallery

Banksy original street art piece, Haight Street Rat, is on display at Artist Republic gallery in Laguna Beach through Aug. 20 to Oct. 20.

Banksy original street art piece, Haight Street Rat, is on display at Artist Republic gallery in Laguna Beach through Aug. 20 to Oct. 20.

Pageant of the Vandals has made its way to Artist Republic gallery in Laguna Beach where the focus of the event is the viewing of one of Banksy’s original pieces. Along with many street artists  being recognized for their miraculous tagging’s and street paintings they have done in many cities. This event will be held from Aug. 20 to Oct. 20 and it will showcase other talented street artists: Ben Eine, Zio Ziegler, Jeff Gillete, Beau Stanton, Chad Hasegawa, Lucy Sparrow, Ellannah Sadwik and Jack Fox.

Banksy’s original piece at the gallery is called Haight Street Rat, which is a large stenciled painting of a rat holding a marker and wearing a Che Guevera cap. Luckily, this piece was not on brick or concrete, which is what allowed it to be removed, lifted and preserved from its original location on the side of The Red Victorian bed-and-breakfast on 1665 Haight Street. Brian Grief saved this street piece in 2010 after realizing what an influence Banksy’s art left on the public. He was able to persuade the owner to let him save and restore the painting.

Banksy had several paintings in San Francisco, many of which were removed and destroyed by the city. This is one of the few pieces that was saved and is now very well known, said Stephanie Snee, art teacher who hosted at Artist Republic.

“Offers have been made for over $700,000 for this one piece,” Snee said.

This marks the first time one of Banksy pieces has been viewed in Orange County. To this day, Banksy is still an anonymous artist who has received fame and appreciation for his satirical street art and graffiti, Snee said.

Banksy is a political activist, filmmaker and graffiti artist from England. His works consist of political and social commentary along with dark, humorous stenciled-paintings. He was inspired in the ‘90s by a 3D graffiti artist from an English music group. Banksy is best known for marking on cities from Paris to San Francisco.

“Seeing Banksy’s piece in person was like seeing a piece of the past,” said Mallory McCarthy, 22, San Juan Capistrano. “Being able to experience something that influenced so many with politics and culture was very moving. I felt lucky to be able to experience politically charged artwork in the flesh.”

 

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