Banksy confirms new artwork is his creation after vandals try and deface it
Banksy has confirmed he was behind new artwork after he posted a picture of a mural of a little girl hula hooping on his Instagram account.
The piece appeared on a wall on Tuesday on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton, Nottingham.
Sprayed in black and white, the “Hula-hoop” girl, as she became known, depicts a young girl playing hula hoop with a bicycle tyre, while a real bike with a tyre missing lays next to her.
People began to wonder whether the art was a genuine Banksy, and some experts in the city raised doubts about its origins, with one street artist, Itchers, even claiming it was their work.
But Banksy himself confirmed it was his own work as the image was unveiled on his official Instagram page.
Surinder Kaur, 42, who runs the beauty salon next to the artwork, said the bike had appeared at the same time as the mural.
She said that within hours, the council had rushed to protect the piece by placing clear plastic sheeting over it.
Vandals have sprayed painted over the plastic two or three times already.
“Everyone is very excited and many, many people are coming to see the picture,” Ms Kaur said.
“Everyone was confused about whether it was real or not real but it’s an amazing picture, it’s amazing art.”
Banksy’s “Devolved Parliament” – featuring the Houses of Parliament filled with chimpanzees – sold for £9.9 million last year, setting a new record for his work according to valuation website MyArtBroker.com.
Many of his murals have also been lifted from walls and sold, with Kissing Coppers – an image of two male police officers in an embrace on the side of a Brighton pub – selling for £350,000 in 2011.
Ms Kaur said: “Unfortunately I don’t own the property, I am renting.
“He brought the bike with him – there is one tyre on the bike and the other tyre is in the picture as the little girl’s hula hoop.”
Ms Kaur, who has only recently reopened following lockdown, said lots of people have been coming into her salon to ask about the mural, but she is not yet sure whether it will create a boost for her business.
“Let’s see – I’m not sure about anything right now,” she said.
Tessa O’Connor, 46, and daughter Lamara-Grace O’Connor, 4, were among the first people to visit the street art after Banky confirmed it was his creation.
Tessa said: “I knew about it from the news, and social media and when I realised where it was, I couldn’t believe it. my grandma used to live here and I grew up round here.
“It’s a huge honour he chose to put it here and that it definitely is him. It was a shame people defaced it but I’m glad it’s cleaned off
“You want to be able to appreciate it. I do like it – especially because my daughter has claimed it as her.”
University of Nottingham student Danial Ahmet, 23, lives on the same street as the creation.
He said: “When I first saw it, didn’t see the big deal. But now I get it.
“I think it’s great. Sad it had paint on – don’t get why would you want to ruin it.
“Maybe he chose it because of the high student area. It makes us a bit happier because we can’t go out or do much at the moment.”
Police also arrived at the scene on Saturday morning to ensure the work was not defaced and make sure crowds maintained social distancing.
In July, a coronavirus-inspired Banksy artwork appeared on a London Tube train.
A series of rats were stencilled around a carriage wearing face masks, sneezing or clutching hand sanitiser in a piece named If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get.
Transport for London swiftly removed the piece in line with its anti-graffiti policy, but said: “We appreciate the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings.”
This summer, Banksy used the sale of his artworks to finance a 30-metre motor yacht to rescue migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.
Named after 17th century French anarchist Louise Michel, it features Banksy artwork on its exterior.