Banksy Versus The Gray Ghost, A New Orleans Gallery

In New Orleans, the street artist known as Banksy has created more than a dozen murals around the city, including the one shown above. The murals depict a variety of scenes, including Abraham Lincoln as a homeless man pushing a basket, a marching band wearing gas masks, an old man in a rocking chair with an American flag below the words “No Loitering,” and a boy on a swing made out of a life preserver. According to a statement released by Banksy on Thursday, the murals were created in response to Fred Radtke, an antigraffiti campaigner also known as the Gray Ghost, who uses gray paint to cover up graffiti. The statement also said, “Three years after Katrina I wanted to make a statement about the state of the clean up operation.” - Via The New York Times
It’s ironic that the anti-graffiti zealot Radtke is himself guilty of the crime he seems intent upon destroying. He even painted over a mural on someone’s home who had commissioned the work! Nice to hear he got nailed for it, (below) – I mean would you rather see a blot of gray paint or a Banksy original on your city walls? I think he needs to get a life.

Radtke in action, Operation: Mean Sweep

“Radtke was sentenced to a 60-day suspended sentence for overpainting a graffiti-style mural on the corner of Press and Burgundy streets. Conditions of the suspension of the sentence include that he can no longer remove grafitti without first getting the property owner’s OK. Radtke and members of his graffiti-eradication organization, Operation: Clean Sweep, were in the process of rolling gray paint over the colorful mural, when stopped by patrolling National Guardsmen, who took the Gray Ghost briefly into custody.The muralists had been given the go-ahead from the owners of the property to create the painting. Radtke, who is known as the Gray Ghost for the color of paint he uses to blot out graffiti around the city, had not obtained permission to destroy it.” - Via Doug MacCash, The Times-Picayune 
Enjoy these pictures of Banksy’s clever art, below, that may or may not still exist in New Orleans.

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