Odd Picture

unusal picture on Gateshead wall

I came across a very strange picture today. It was on the side wall of a baker’s shop in Gateshead. I’m not entirely sure what it is, what it represents or who put it there. My first reaction was that it was something similar to a Banksy but so far as I could tell there was no socio-political message being conveyed, so maybe not.

Then, as I got closer I realised that whether it was or was not art, it certainly wasn’t technically graffiti at all, although it may have been litter. Yes, that’s right, litter. It appeared to be a giant cut-out piece of paper stuck to the wall. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make a close inspection, being on the way to Tescos as I was and real life, as it does, sometimes interfering with blogging (doncha just hate it when that happens?).

So there you have it. A genuinely fine piece of artwork graffiti litter thing on the side of one of Gateshead’s least glamorous shopping precincts. Note that although I say it’s a “fine” piece of artwork it would not be unreasonable to add “…if somewhat disturbing” on to the end.

I mean, there’s a kind of a three headed being in the centre and two strange chicken skeleton/disembodied head things on the side. What’s that about?

So the questions are:

  • Who put it there?
  • When did it get put there?
  • Why?
  • And most importantly… what the hell is it?

And then, by pure coincidence, I happen to have left The Guardian’s Guide magazine from last weekend in the car, and I’m flicking through it when I find this:

Spank The Monkey, claiming to be the first major international exhibition of contemporary “urban art” is bound to provoke ambivalent reactions. Yet the show promises to be a spirited affair, presented throughout the streets of Newcastle/Gateshead as well as in the Baltic’s Level 4 Gallery. Banksy, of course, contributes an enigmatic urban intervention. The Japanese design group Groovisions decorate a skate ramp installation. And artworld star Takashi Murakami fills the gallery walls with his mangaesque psychedelia.Guardian Guide Listings

And then a quick look at the Spank The Monkey Exhibition at the BALTIC (because they always use ALLCAPS for some unknown reason) and in particular the monkey map, shows me that this odd piece is part of this exhibition. So it might be a Banksy after all — or equally it could be one of the others. But it’s certainly an enigmatic urban intervention

One Response to “Odd Picture”

  1. Mike responds:

    I was hoping to get up for this expo some time, Miss Van and Obey are represented aren’t they ? To the best of my knowledge, neither have exhibited in the UK before…

    Paste and Conquer!

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