Rickards had previously unearthed one of the only pieces of street art that Banksy had left in Jamaica. A wall Tagged with his signature of his a girl with balloons and his tag Banksy in stencil form. He took said artwork to a garage where a pictured a dog defecating on the well reknowned artist’s street piece.
Rickards met Banksy in 2004 while working on the cover art for a reggae/electronic album by the UK’s Wall of Sound. According to Rickards (who had never heard of the artist at the time), Banksy was ‘a rude little guy with rat teeth who apparently felt very superior because he was famous for stenciling bunnies and rats back in London.’ Consequently, Rickards (who runs the button-pushing Jamaican website, The Afflicted Yard) managed to capture a few photographs of Banksy at various locations around Kingston, including an old ship, a bridge, Buju Banton’s music studio, and a pub on Mona road in Kingston (where Balloon Girl stood for 4 years) .
Banksy has gained a reputation as a social vandal, taunting society with his illegal street pieces, which has thrust him into elite circles of contemporary art. Until Rickards revealed his secret identity he had clouded himself in myth and mystery like a super anti-hero.
Banksy’s stunts have been legendary. He brought in a life sized dummy dressed like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner and put him in a Disney Land and also put up several pieces of his own into famous museums. He also collaborated with Gnarls Barkley producer, Dangermouse, to remix and repackage Paris Hilton’s CD and put them in stores and also put up several pieces of graffiti on the west bank wall in Israel.
His work has been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auctions to people such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Christina Aguilera and Jude Law have all bought pieces from him. In an interesting new twist to what appears to be an ongoing history of the two artists, Rickards’ has taken advantage of Banksy’s notoriety by videotaping the removal of the wall in Kingston and has posted the item on Ebay as a ‘free bonus prize’ to the person who buys 10 original photographs of the excavation.
Watch Rickards Take Down Bansky’s Last Jamaican Piece of Street Art