Today Thu Fri
It is forecast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on August 20, 2014
Chance of Rain
It is forecast to be Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on August 21, 2014
It is forecast to be Mostly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on August 22, 2014
Mostly Cloudy



Banksy Piece Gets Tagged Over, We Get Sad

Photo by @Rob Tyrie.

Slowly but steadily, the Banksy pieces we featured earlier this week are vanishing.

The alley on Tuesday morning. Photo by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.

First, in time for a Monday afternoon rush of spectators, the “0% INTEREST IN PEOPLE” piece on Adelaide got painted unceremoniously over by order of the property owner. That was in addition to the tagged tree on Portland, which the City spirited away for more understandable reasons.
Soon after, the Banksy rat on the back of a Cherry Street sign got carted away, too.
And today, Rob Tyrie confirmed whispers we’d heard since yesterday: that the “will work for idiots” stencil, in an alley near Dundas and Manning, has been painted over.
Likely the work of local tagger MANR, the bomb is proof positive that some people just don’t like Banksy—and that even the best street art, by nature, may not last.


  • rek

    Good! I’m glad to see Toronto isn’t falling for the hype. Banksy’s work doesn’t deserve to outlast anyone else’s; that’s the price of graffiti/street art.

  • Dry Brain

    It’s probably ridiculous to critique someone for vandalizing vandalism, but to scrawl over a piece of art for a tag (even a big, well-executed tag) is just juvenile narcissism. Which is what most tagging is all about anyway, I guess.
    What a dick.

  • http://undefined rek

    The technical term for this kind of “big tag” is a throw up. No, really.

  • http://undefined bigdaddyhame

    AWESOME! Good going, MANR. Don’t let that carpetbagging international prettyboy muscle in on your turf!
    The best part of this is that, really, who cares? It’s a STENCIL. Like he can go putting these up wherever he likes because it’s a STENCIL.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Isn’t one of the huge arguments of pro-graf people that graf people have some sort of street code to NOT do this sort of thing? Or is this all a myth?

  • http://undefined Adrian
    Mistakenly attributed to Banksy, the piece above was created by the very talented artist, Priest.

  • http://undefined rek

    Largely a myth. There are certain pieces/artists/walls that get special treatment, but they’re the exception to the rule that if it doesn’t get buffed, it’ll get covered eventually.

  • http://undefined davedave

    the vandal destroys
    the vandal’s vandalism
    the hipsters they sob

  • http://undefined dyee276750

    fair enough, i guess banksy is the establishment and is going to be attacked but really MANR if your going to do that so quickly, could you at least let peeps enjoy his work for a few mths rather than cover it up as quickly as some of the local clueless businessess, you could at least have been witty about it rather than cover it up w. your junk tag, at least banksy is provocative, artistic and witty and demands attention whereas your is nothing.
    if banksy treds on another people’s work he at least acknowledges it

  • Dry Brain

    I know that, but it’s still a tag. It betrays more skill, but it’s still a tag.
    Anyway, Banksy may be overrated/overexposed, but it’s still a dick move.

  • http://undefined davedave

    Complaining that a vandal’s vandalism should be respected and left up for people to see when that vandal most likely painted over someone else’s vandalism in the first place is f’ing ludicrous.
    But what’s even more f’ing ludicrous is demanding that property owners not clean up their property because you have a boner for the vandal in question.

  • http://undefined rek
  • http://undefined Laura

    Who cares wether it was really banksy or not, covering it up with some shitty tag is a damn shame.

  • http://undefined Paul

    Wow – I’m sorry but that throw up actually looks like vomit. it’s just like pissing in the alley. people who do throw up’s are no different than dogs pissing to mark their territory- it’s wack. get off the street and go read a book or go to school.
    Vandalism or not, Banksy’s work gets people interested in their environment they live in. I met so many people that just stumbled upon his work and were intrigued. these same people normally hate graffiti. The work actual is nice to look and brings art out into the city, away from galleries and museums, letting everyone experience it and think about it.

  • http://undefined Chris Orbz

    MANR is a fool who is way too into capping artists’ stuff and each new MANR tag/piece demonstrates that a little bit more.

  • http://undefined s’rose

    MANR, you exhibit the worst parts of any throw up, tag, graff, any public art. If that’s all you have, I’d consider early retirement.

  • http://undefined joe schmoe

    MANR is amazing! He’s way better than that Banksy pansy you guys keep blowin’. Look how he even made that pipe part of his throw up. I poop on Banksy’s farmed out stencils.

  • http://undefined Skippy the Magical Racegoat

    As a member of the Bloods street gang, I am very concerned about these rival sets encroaching on my territory.

  • http://undefined ArtCritic

    Get a job, DaveDave

  • http://undefined calam1ty

    I’ve been photographing graffiti all over Europe. I’ve seen nothing in Toronto that comes anywhere close. So far I haven’t noticed much in the way of defacement elsewhere either and yet I’ve thought of Toronto as deserving “The Good” title.
    What amazes me is that the ugly scrawls are left untouched, while something worth looking at is defaced or covered with something that isn’t. I feel pretty embarrassed at the reaction to Banksy’s pieces in Toronto – I’ve waited a long time for the man to get here and now he has, this is the result.
    It’s one thing to say it’s transient and fair game and all the rest but these pieces have been deliberately targeted and I don’t understand why. Is it sour grapes? Some power trip? Stunned.
    Agreeing with Laura IaccinoDAMN SHAME.

  • http://undefined ArtCritic

    Listen, Joe. If you think this manr kid is talented, you may/may not have a touch of the downs. His “art” is nothing but large, obnoxious tardbubbles.
    Street art should have a message. It should say something witty, relevant, funny, nihilist, etc. The important thing is that is says something at all. OR, it should be visually beautiful, artistic, and something that not every Joe Schmoe (I’m so punny) could produce.
    If you take a look at other manr pieces, they have absolutely NO ARTISTIC VALUE and NOTHING TO SAY. Well, maybe except “I’m Manr! Look at me! Seriously…c’mon guys, just pay attention to meeeee!”
    No one cares, Manr. You should possibly consider going back to creating tags for your grandma’s fridge…
    Also: It sounds to me like Joe is one of Manr’s little buddies since no one else in TO with half a brain likes this kind of crap. Tell me, Joe. What does tardbubble’s little buddy taste like? Paint?

  • http://undefined davedave

    “It’s one thing to say it’s transient and fair game and all the rest but these pieces have been deliberately targeted and I don’t understand why. Is it sour grapes? Some power trip? Stunned.
    The building owner who reclaims his property is deliberately targeting your precious Banksy? Righhhhht.

  • http://undefined spacejack

    Gee, that’s interesting.
    Manr designed his own wordmark and painted it by hand. It not only evokes a kind of Nietzscheian creative self-affirmation, but demonstrates a skilled hand capable of precision and grace with the spray can. It is expressive in a way that mechanical reproductions are simply incapable of being.
    In addition, by painting over another graffiti artist’s work, it reminds us of the temporal nature of the medium. Allowing us to see the Banksy undercoat still showing through is a sly nod to the process art movement of the 1960s. There is the layer of the original building, one graffiti piece, and then another on top of that, all visible at the same time.
    Banksy on the other hand traces other people’s photographs or cartoons from stencils and then sometimes attaches a trendy, scrawled message pandering to teenage angst.
    LOL sometimes I miss this art school nonsense.
    Anyway, live by the spraycan, die by the spraycan. Or there is no honour among vandals. Or something.

  • http://undefined joe schmoe

    No, you listen, Fartcritic.
    You can’t blame the youth, MANR, for painting upon a wall. It’s a tough world out there for a street artist, even one as popular as Banksy. Anyone can get taken out by the streets.
    In this case, the streets of Toronto judged Banksy. MANR was just the one to deliver the sentence.

  • http://undefined rek

    The world is ending: I agree with something davedave said on the topic of graffiti.

  • http://undefined Bob Johnson

    Seems there are some Banksy haters out there.. and I can totally see why ..because Banksy’s humorous and thought provoking ‘stencils’ are drawing more public attention than the ‘more skilled’ tags of the local talent.
    To the artist (or the tagger) I say fair enough in the world of graffiti all walls are fair game and one can’t get sentimental about the temporal existence of the artwork, but the act of deliberately tagging over a piece so quickly before it can be fully enjoyed by the public could be easily interpreted as if Banksy’s work is a threat to yours. Is that really the case if you think so little of his stencils?
    Duchamp was able to make art out of a toilet bowl and Banksy was able to make art out of stencils, and fair enough, that’s a matter of opinion. But surely our local talent can bring something to the table (or the wall) that is not only more inspiring than a stencil but can make us proud to live in Toronto.

  • rek

    This is where street art and graffiti writing butt heads. The former is (more or less) intended for public consumption, while the latter is intentionally not. If street artists want to play in writers’ sandbox, this is the price (sometimes). I’d like to think street artists already know this, but it’s evident the public does not.
    Banksy has no more right to stencil there than MANR has to tag. If Banksy wanted or intended for these pieces to last, he would have put them in a gallery somewhere.
    (I pretty much the same thing a thousand years ago in the wake of The Splasher.)

  • http://undefined Martin

    Thank you clearing that up rek. Very good points. Cheers.