Banksy: Artist confirms new London tree murals are his own work

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People have been coming to see the artwork in droves since it was first revealed

Banksy has confirmed he is behind a new artwork that appeared in north London on Sunday.

It features a wall behind a felled tree sprayed green to look like foliage, with a stencil of a man holding a pressure hose next to it.

A crowd has gathered to view the graffiti, with one local man saying he is “proud” that his street has been chosen.

“It feels like a personal message to us residents, we feel very proud,” said Vanja Sellers, who lives across the street from the mural.

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Murals have been painted on the wall to give the impression of tree leaves

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn told the PA news agency he was “delighted” to see the artwork in his Islington North constituency.

The MP said, “Banksy has brought a bit of greenery to Finsbury Park, which needs a bit more greenery. We are the most densely populated constituency in the country and I’m very pleased.”

According to James Peake, who created the BBC Radio 4 series The Banksy Story, the mural features “a large spray of green paint” on a white wall, accompanied by a “classic Banksy-style stencil”.

He says it may have been created using a pressure hose or fire extinguisher.

The color of green used matches that used by Islington Council for signs in the local area, which Mr Peake said demonstrated Banksy’s famous eye for detail.

“When you step back it looks like the tree has come to life, but in a completely fake and artificial way.

He said, “It’s spring now, and the leaves should be bursting on this tree, but Banksy must have thought how miserable it looks while cycling by.”

Before the artist confirmed it was his work, Islington councilor Flora Williamson said it would be “incredible” to have a Banksy artwork “right in the middle of social housing and one of the poorest parts of the borough”.

“I think it adds intrigue and culture and makes the area livelier,” she said.

Islington Council said its graffiti removal team was aware of the artwork and would not be removing it.

The council believes that the cherry tree in the foreground of the artwork is approximately 40–50 years old and its health is declining with decay and fungus damage.

He says he has been caring for and pruning the tree for some time – both for protection and to help extend its lifespan – and will continue to work on keeping the tree alive.

The elusive artist usually confirms his work on his website and social media, and on Monday he posted photos of the artwork on Instagram without any caption.

In his post, the absolutely bare tree can also be seen with a plain white wall behind it – before the creation of the mural.

Alex Georgiou, whose company owns the building containing the mural, said he found out about it late Sunday night, and came down to see it for the first time the next morning.

He said the building is currently vacant and on the rental market.

“The question is, what do I do with it now? What do I do with it now? I definitely plan on putting it out there and letting people enjoy it, everyone is loving it which is great.” Well, I can’t really believe it yet to be honest,” he said.

Banksy is one of the world’s most famous artists, but his identity, at least officially, remains unknown.

The artist’s most recent known piece, which featured a stop sign with three military drones on it, was stolen in December last year, just hours after it was confirmed to be authentic.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Peake said that by including a tree in the artwork, Banksy had “solved an emerging problem” of people trying to steal his work.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to cut it down… How do you steal a tree?”

image Source, James Peake/The Banksy Story

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The colors used for the artwork are similar to those of Islington Council signs, as seen in the foreground

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