"I'm gonna do it freehand, whereas he can only stencil..."
September 14, 2011 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Metropolitan stencilsmith Banksy certainly doesn't lack predecessors, possible auxiliary identities, or rival "street artists." (or MeFi posts: 1, 2, 3, etc.) His biggest rival, a shoe repairman from the East End called ROBBO, has gained an extensive support network, calling itself Team Robbo (music upon loading).

"Graffiti Wars [47:00],"
part of (UK)Channel 4's "Street Summer" series, documents the rattle-can battle between Banksy and Robbo, as well as the debates among Councils and residents over what to do with it all. Robbo's art career was taking off; he was commissioned to promote, and attended the Berlin Film Festival (in disguise), displayed and sold his work at the revered Pure Evil Gallery, all the while sparring with Banksy... posted by obscurator (20 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Get well Robbo.
posted by splatta at 7:55 PM on September 14, 2011

Banksy and Robbo. Sounds like the introductions at an Aussie BBQ. We need a Gazza or a Shazza to complete the triumvirate of artists.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:57 PM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Get well Robbo.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on September 14, 2011

I can't help but think this is manufactured at one level or another. I mean, I'm no huge fan of Banksy. he's been doing the same damn thing for... however long it's been. But I have a hard tome believing that Robbo is some kind of street legend for re-hashing decades-old American and French styles.

Also, street-art world, graffiti looks really stupid on canvas, no matter how good of a tagger you are.
posted by cmoj at 8:24 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Where is The Splasher when we need him?
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:24 PM on September 14, 2011

Lol trolled, banksy is Robbo.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2011

Yes, I too am leery about the identity issues here, but it makes for darn compelling telly. Also, a bit strange that yet another Banksy spotlight-sharer was injured/maimed after a hard fall (MBW) just as his "career" was solidifying...
posted by obscurator at 9:03 PM on September 14, 2011

If you forward this e-mail to 20 friends, Banksy will send you a cheque for 40 quid.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:15 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree "Banksy" has a lot of rivals. There is better street art literally on my street, within 200 feet of my front door, as well as at thousands of locations all over L.A.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:57 PM on September 14, 2011

posted by weewooweewoo at 11:24 PM on September 14, 2011

I had to admit (despite thinking Banksy comes off as a jerk here), the Banksy message to Robbo is spot on: you're a sweet dude*/fish who is woefully out his depth/water. I'm sure Banksy meant it in a more spiteful way, but I feel like the gallery and the commercial art market that Robbo was giddy to embrace proved to be far more corrosive to his health. The attention was nitrous in his fame tank.

*Sweet is my word. I'm sure Banksy thinks the guy is a schmuck whose singular talent was that he was good at evading cops.
posted by basicchannel at 12:04 AM on September 15, 2011

Crazy stuff. It seems to me that street art is getting a lot of attention recently. Is this because it's pretty new, or just because of high-profile stuff (like Banksy-related stunts?)
posted by rinogo at 12:14 AM on September 15, 2011

So this King Robbo chap is meant to be good? all his work that turns up on Google just looks like uninspired rubbish.

and the 'Team Robbo' crew out vandalising Banksy's work just come across as angry jealous teenagers.

The 'war' seems to come down to just Banksy not knowing who Robbo was on some initial meeting. which is not that hard to believe given Robbo's work is so forgettable.
posted by mary8nne at 1:35 AM on September 15, 2011

How can you write an article about graffiti with so few pictures in it?
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:56 AM on September 15, 2011

How can you write an article about graffiti with so few pictures in it?

WSJ? Not sure what you're referring to, most links have pics/slideshows. ?
posted by obscurator at 8:07 AM on September 15, 2011

I love that you called Binksy a "stencilsmith" ... so fucking sick of the "graffiti art" movement.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:16 AM on September 15, 2011

In other news, we found a way to celebrate petty crime as art.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:15 AM on September 15, 2011

Like skateboarders and buskers?
posted by cmoj at 11:18 AM on September 15, 2011

Just curious if those who didn't watch the film at least clicked on the "Berlin Film Fest" photo in the FPP...
posted by obscurator at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2011

Have we worked out if Robbo is an imaginary person?

Do we have a hospital room number? Do we have a police report where somebody went kersplatt head-first on the pavement holding a spray can?

What's with the two random pics in the something went wrong link? Is one of them a Banksy piece in an article about Robbo? WTF? The second pic I thought was a woman's bust slightly deformed by tight clothing. It was only in the cold light of the next morning that I could see what it really was.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:07 PM on September 15, 2011

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