US guerilla artist Ron English bought Banksy´s “Slave Labour” artwork, which was originally painted on a wall of London´s Poundland shop for £561,000 – so he can whitewash it.
“Slave Labour” depicts a young child on his knees at a sewing machine, producing a string of Union Jack bunting. It was painted on the side of a bargain store in Wood Green in 2012 and is believed to be a protest against sweatshops used to manufacture souvenirs for the London Olympics.
“Slave Labour” was sold by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles on Wednesday and was bought by American artist Ron English, who revealed he plans to whitewash it in protest against street art being bought and sold.
He said: “I’m going to paint over it and just include it in one of the walls in my house. We’re tired of people stealing our stuff off the streets and re-selling it so I’m just going to buy everything I can get my hands on and whitewash it.”
Briefly about the relationship between these two men:
In the late Nineties, the American guerrilla artist Ron English received word from his agent that he had an admirer: a young Englishman who went by the name of Banksy.
“At the time I was writing on billboards and painting shadows on walls,” recalls English. “Apparently he loved what I was doing, he said he wanted to be ‘the Ron English of Britain’. I hear he’s done pretty well since then.”
English, 52, hasn’t been doing badly either. According to his people, English’s work sells at between £18,000 and £135,000. Over the past 30 years, the man hailed as the “godfather of graffiti art” has been waging war on corporate America by “liberating” its billboards.
Link to the video: