A Valentine’s Day artwork by the infamous UK artist Banksy has been dismantled hours after he claimed it as his own, while online commenters accused the painter of “cashing in” on the issue of domestic violence.
The street artist’s work appeared in the southeast England seaside town of Margate on Sunday evening and was later shared to Banksy’s website with the title, Valentine’s Day Mascara.
It depicted a woman in 1950s housewife attire, wearing an apron and rubber gloves, as she sported a missing tooth and swollen eye.
She was leaning forward, appearing to close the lid of a chest freezer as a pair of male legs stuck out of it.
While the woman and legs were painted on the wall, the chest freezer, as well as an empty beer bottle on the ground next to the woman and a broken plastic chair, were real.
But despite Banksy artworks often selling for millions of dollars, on Tuesday morning, council workers removed the freezer from the art installation.
Thanet District Council said while the graffiti was on a wall of a privately owned property, the freezer had been removed on the grounds of safety as it was on public land.
“The fridge-freezer is now in storage and will be returned once it has been made safe to the public,” the council said.
“We will be contacting the owner of the property to discuss the options to preserve the artwork for the district.”
Artwork accused of ‘cashing in’
Meanwhile, after the famously anonymous artist shared a photo of his work to Instagram, it quickly attracted both praise and criticism.
Many thought the painting wrongly highlighted violence against women.
“This is not doing anything to help women or the cause. It’s pure cashing in on current news issues and a work of idiocy and lack of understanding about the complexities of domestic violence against women,” one commenter said.
The same person argued the work “shifts the blame to the victim” and “puts that idea into a picture”.
Others, however, felt the piece was aptly representative of the complex issues surrounding domestic violence and applauded Banksy for making a bold statement.
“Thank you for pointing the finger at domestic violence. So many suffer from that,” one comment read.
“Domestic abuse, she has a black eye, throw the cowards away, to all the brave women and men that have to go through this, stay strong queens and kings,” another said.
Story Credit: news.com.au