March 11 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Monday, January 13, 2014
A £35,000 Banksy artwork rescued from a closed down pub is on show at a Brentwood gallery.
John Brandler, 58, the owner of Brandler Galleries, bought It Wasn’t Me at an auction last year and it has been on display ever since.
John said: “I love this particular piece. It is exactly what Banksy is known for; he has a good sense of humour.
“It is exactly what street art is meant to be, about someone going along and making a political or personal comment about themselves with a wall.
“If you own the building you can paint over it to remove it. It is a true piece of street art for anybody to enjoy.”
He said the piece was rescued by sculptor Calvin Russell from a north London pub, which was being demolished. He then sold it to Criterions Auctions.
The artwork, which is on sale at the Coptfold Road gallery, has not been authenticated.
John said: “Because it is street art, Banksy’s people won’t authenticate it. But this piece was on the Banksy forum [website] for many years and the unofficial process was that if it wasn’t genuine they took it off.”
The gallery owner is planning to show the piece at an exhibition on Southwold Pier, Suffolk, at the end of the month.
A German museum has also expressed an interest in displaying it.
He said: “The museum in Germany has a very high profile and it will add to the piece’s stature quite considerably if exhibited there.
“I can see it ending up in a museum because it has all the elements you want from a Banksy, or with a collector.”
John added: “It is good to have it in the gallery before it is shown internationally. I’m very lucky my hobby’s my job.”