Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Banksy on Newman Street in London - word of mouth in action?

I have just returned from taking photos of the 'Banksy Newman Street' in London. Painted inside a Post Office depot compound, "One Nation Under CCTV" is Banksy's biggest piece in central London to date:

Banksy on Newman Street

Banksy Newman Street on Flickr (click image to see more from my Flickr collection)

Essentially Banksy is a graffiti artist executing an illegal pastime, however his work now has a wide following and there is significant hype around Banksy 'art' (eg Angelina Jolie paying £200,000 recently for one of his pieces). There were a large number of people taking photos on Newman Street today and everyone present (except the Post Office workers) seemed impressed with what they saw. There was even a researcher from the Culture Show asking people to express their thoughts with felt tips on a piece of paper headed 'Culture Is.......'

It is interesting to see how word of this spread. It was featured in newspapers this morning, but the Banksy Newman Street has also been a topic of conversation online - the Daily Mail report has had 4314 Diggs in 13 hours!
A number of photos have also been added to Flickr, Facebook statuses have featured it and a quick Tweet Scan also shows how word of the Newman Street Banksy spread through Twitter:

click for larger image

I don't know how long this work will remain or for how much longer London councils will tolerate Banksy producing art like "One Nation Under CCTV", however as each new piece is created, it is intriguing how quickly word of it spreads and how many people are moved to go and look - is Banksy's work the ultimate word of mouth, viral marketing?

Related posts:
Banksy 'Lambeth Palace' underground cinema for 'Exit Through The Gift Shop' screenings
Banksy trademarking his tag for a range of products
Banksy virtual gallery launches in Second Life
Banksy New Orleans Katrina anniversary graffiti
Banksy New Orleans stolen!


Cedric said...

Not to mention the numerous FlickR posts in the Banksy dedicated groups...

Banksy is indeed breaking into mainstream. But some have been following him for a while:

Graeme Harrison said...

Sadly this has now been painted over