In September 2010 I went to New Orleans. My trip to New Orleans had three goals: first was to visit relatives, second to tour sections of the city I had toured in June 2006 (10 months after Katrina) to get a sense of the state of recovery, and third to search out the remaining Banksy street art works from August of 2008 which were still present. Locating the Banksy works which I saw when I visited in 2010 was with much appreciated help from the Times-Picayune art writer Doug MacCash introduced via my sister Stephanie.
I published some of the photographs Stephanie and I took of the Banksy New Orleans works here and have occasionally updated the descriptions and images as they have changed over time. On July 10, 2013, I decided to do a major re-organization of this page to better present how the Banksy pictures have fared since they were first rendered back in August 2008. With the recovery of New Orleans since the devastation by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005, each work presents a microcosm of the recovery and the problems which remain in the specific locations. On February 25, 2014, I updated New Orleans Umbrella Girl, Scared Girl and Mouse, and Looters for recent developments.
Banksy painted 17 works in 16 locations which I know about. One of them, which I named New Orleans Umbrella Girl was featured as the image for the 85th puzzle of the 100 Puzzles Project. I cut this puzzle in December 2008, several months after Banksy painted the work and auctioned it in January 2009.
This then is a photographic history of the 17 works. Most early pictures were obtained from the "internet" in year 2010, and are noted as such, later pictures were taken either by Stephanie who lives in New Orleans or myself, with attribution noted. In March 2014, inspired by a request from Infrogmation of New Orleans, I undertook a project to identify and attribute the sources of the pictures I took from the "internet" in the early going. I was successful in identifying quite a few. All of these images are now attributed and have links to the originals. If any of these are yours and you wish any to be removed, please contact me and I'll remove the pictures along with the links to your articles or photos as soon as possible. There are, still, a bunch of early pictures which I cannot find again on the internet. Each one is noted and is accompanied by an email link with the specific image as the subject. If you find one which is yours please contact me for proper attribution (and hopefully not a request for removal).
1. New Orleans Umbrella Girl: status - Under Plexiglas
Puzzle #821 - New Orleans Umbrella Girl
Source image picture used for this wooden jigsaw puzzle was taken on September 9, 2008 by Stephanie, prior to the installation of a Plexiglas cover
Puzzle #821 - Figurals - Special jigsaw pieces for this puzzle include a Spray Can puzzle piece, and a "B" shaped puzzle piece for Banksy (both pieces located in the upper left of the first picture)
For non-puzzlers who came here to see Banksy pictures, excuse this little detour, these pieces were hand cut using a scroll saw from a piece of plywood with the picture previously glued on.
Another Umbrella Girl picture taken by Stephanie, September 9, 2008
Picture taken by me on September 12, 2010 - now there is Plexiglas over the image, bushes removed, more boarding up
Picture taken by Stephanie, May 24, 2011 - Umbrella Girl has a friend
The friend is gone, and Umbrella Girl still stands diminutively amongst the big graffiti and a building which looks like it is ready for the wrecking ball
A boy was painted on the wall cornering the Umbrella Girl sometime after my 2010 visit.
Picture taken by Stephanie, July 10, 2013
On December 31, 2013 the Plexiglas was broken and red paint was sprayed over the lower portion of the image. This event was documented by the NOLA DEFENDER. Later in the day the paint was successfully removed over the important parts of the image. The Plexiglas was not restored.
Red spray paint on Umbrella Gird
© 2013 Nola Defender
On February 21, 2014, in a phenomenally brazen event, four men built a plywood barricade around the work, and then within the barricade and armed with power tools, attempted to remove the work. According to several sources, a crowd of people was attracted and when the men were challenged, they fled before finishing their work.
This picture, taken by Charlie Varley of varleypix.com, appeared in The New Orleans Advocate, see story.
My sister, by fortune, was able to get behind the plywood barrier on February 25 via a temporary opening and take a bunch of pictures! New Orleans Umbrella Girl (also known as "Rain Girl") looks to be in very good condition!
Umbrella Girl survives another attack
Picture by Stephanie, February 25, 2014, "behind the plywood"
Umbrella Girl status February 25, 2014
Pictures by Stephanie (some cropped)
That boy which was located to the right of the Umbrella Girl, immediately around the corner had been painted over
A costume for New Orleans Mardi Gras 2014
Building damage repaired
Processed screen grab from drive by video taken by Stephanie, June 25, 2014
2. Abraham Lincoln with Push Cart: status - building demolished after picture painted over
Picture taken on October 7, 2009 by Duncan Hill, see dullhunk
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Some of the color is chipping off in Lincoln's mid-section, graffiti text added
Lincoln painted over.
Picture taken December 10, 2010 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken
Building demolished and replaced - picture by Stephanie, July 10, 2013, arrow added - the painting faced towards the left
Major new construction here - LSU Medical Center - very unlikely the picture was saved
3. Scared Girl and Mouse: status - building demolished after picture damaged and partially painted over
This photo was probably taken in September 2008
I cannot find the source link for this picture. If it is yours please contact me
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Bricks have been thrown chipping the image of the girl
At the mouse, the plaster under the tail and near the whiskers have been chipped out
Picture taken by Stephanie, May 23, 2013
Gone! Unlikely the artwork was salvaged. Anybody have any documentation of the demolition?
Picture taken by Stephanie, February 25, 2014
4. Gray Ghost Attacks Flowers: Status: Left side painted over, remainder under Plexiglas
Picture taken August 26, 2008 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken
Picture taken August 27, 2008 by toaminorplace, see toaminorplace
It is felt Banksy came back shortly afterward to put more emphasis on Gray Ghost's destructive personality
Is it 100% certain Banksy did the paint over? In my opinion the paint-over is a lot like the effect done by Banksy in the Boy Painting Flowers image he later painted over with Refrigerator Kite
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - This was one of Banksy's responses to "the Gray Ghost" known for painting over street art in New Orleans with gray paint
This painting has been inexplicably covered over on the left side with the dark pink paint. The rest is covered with Plexiglas
Originally when the Plexiglas was put up, the unprotected portion remained to the left for a while and was defaced with graffiti.
Picture taken by Stephanie, May 23, 2013
Plexiglas has proven to work well so far.....
5. Gray Ghost Attacks Stick Figure: status - Under Plexiglas
Picture taken by Doug MacCash - published on September 24, 2008
Obtained from Nola.com article by Jam Gill, see NOLA.com
The gray on the wall was already there when Banksy started this work - there from the Gray Ghost
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Banksy stick art figure reacting to being painted over by a Banksy portrayal of the Gray Ghost.
Covered with Plexiglas, greenish mold covering Stick Figure's lower left leg
Picture taken by Stephanie, May 23, 2013
6. Simpsons boy: status - covered by tarp and plywood, condition unknown
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - This work still in nearly pristine condition at this time
Picture taken by Stephanie, July 9, 2013
There is plastic sheeting between the painting and the wood. Condition of work unknown.
The owner wants to demolish the building, but is waiting for a buyer of the work!.
Even though this work is still in place in New Orleans, it is being offered for sale by the Kezler Gallery in the U.K., the same Gallery which sold the pilfered Turtle. See Kezler. The asking price at one time was $500,000 plus cost to move the wall.
7. The Marching Band: status - building demolished after picture painted over
Very few photos of this work were taken, the work was quickly painted over.
I cannot find the source link for this picture found on the internet in this exact size or larger - if it is yours please contact me
Detail (angle slightly different than the first widely propagated picture)
Picture taken on August 25, 2008 by Rex Dingler, see Rex Dingler
Marching Band Painted Over
Picture taken on September 9, 2008 by Preservation Resource Center, see Preservation Resource Center
Note: this work was painted over on August 28 or 29, 2008 and the building torn down in February 2010 according to photo sequences at anothonyturducken
The story goes that the owner of the building had this major work painted over, obviously ignorant of its value. The Gray Ghost did not do this.
Wow - how things have changed! Picture taken by Stephanie, July 9, 2013
The tilted telephone pole and the stop sign are about the only clues the location is the same
8. Looters: status - Removed by building owner - after being mostly painted over and then covered with Plexiglas
This one was controversial as the National Guard were held in higher esteem than this.
The window the soldier is climbing out of is fake, painted onto the building - this picture was cropped from a picture taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation
Shortly after Looters was painted, it was covered with plywood. By mid September 2008 the plywood was ripped off
There were many phases of defacement before the work was covered with plexigas. Reportedly the original artwork was coated with a clear "barrier coat" by the building's owner before any defacement occurred to aid in future restoration if needed.
Layers of paint, then Plexiglas then more graffiti - Picture taken by Stephanie, July 10, 2013
Just the top of the fake window and the bottom of the shopping cart can be seen
In late January 2014, the owners of the building successfully removed the heavily sprayed artwork for possible restoration
Photo © 2014 Doug MacCash / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Reference link here.
Outer surface of the building restored. The site has undergone many iterations of spray painting
Picture taken by Stephanie, February 25, 2014
Trumpet Boy #1, picture found on the internet. If this is yours please contact me
Trumpet Boy #1 - From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008, see SLAMXHYPE
Gone. Cut out from the wall of the house! - From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008, see SLAMXHYPE
Only the stairs remain - Picture taken by Stephanie, July 10, 2013
Somewhere, someone has Trumpet Boy #1
10. Trumpet Boy #2: status - building demolished
Trumpet Boy #2, Photo taken by Stephanie May 13, 2011
Trumpet Boys 1 & 2 compared with some adjustment for different camera angles
Trumpet Boy #2 location, Photo by Stephanie May 13, 2011
I had refrained from posting this picture until now (July 10, 2013) to help protect this lesser known painting
Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie, July 10, 2013
Was the painting salvaged? If you know, please contact me
Image from internet. If this is yours please contact me
Levee Boy Losing Umbrella detail
Picture taken September 18, 2008 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken
Quite a bit of other graffiti appeared around the Banksy work and was then painted over well before the Levee Boy work itself was painted over.
Photo taken by Stephanie May 13, 2011
Removal of Turtle with Hard Hat Shell must have happened quickly as this is the only original picture I've seen on the internet.
In searching for this picture for attribution, I could not find it again, only some cropped versions with the left-hand column cropped out.
If this is yours please contact me
I did find one cropped version of the same photo with higher resolution
From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008 (the turtle had already been removed), see SLAMXHYPE
Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie May 24, 2011
After the Turtle was removed it was allegedly sold on eBay via auction #220702354278 as "Hard-Hat Turtle". It sold for $5,700 on December 1, 2010. I later obtained detailed auction pictures and determined that the Turtle sold on eBay was a fake. The door panel on which the fake turtle was painted was on a similar door panel cleverly altered to look like the damaged real one. The real turtle showed up at the Kezler Gallery in the U. K. and was later sold after several years, probably in 2013. The title of the turtle work at Kezler was "Slow Progress". The Kezler asking price had been $40,000 at one time. If you know for how much, please contact me
Anatomy of a fake - initial investigation
Top picture archived from eBay
The bottom turtle is from the photograph of the door in place, see above
The forger(s) likely only had access to a low resolution picture and had to guess about the shell
Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie, July 9, 2013
13. Rat with Broom: status - removed
Rat with Broom in place
Picture cropped from photo taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation
Detail - The Rat is wearing an apron
Picture from internet - the original filename was "banksnolarip2.jpg" - If this is yours please contact me
Picture from an article by nick burcher, dated September 22, 2008, see nick burcher
I once came across a reference (do not have link) saying that the Rat with Broom image was sold on eBay. If you have any info about this please contact me.
Rat with Broom house refurbished
Picture taken April 11, 2009 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken
14. Boy on Life Preserver Swing: status - Building demolished after picture painted over
Boy on Life Preserver Swing
Picture taken August 28, 2008 by a boxcar named ruin, see aBoxcarNamedRuin
Unknown man destroying the work
Picture taken September 17, 2008 by mags, see artbymags
Photo taken September 18, 2008 by Keith Spera / The Times-Picayune, see Times-Picayune
Building gone - the building was on the slab to the right
Picture taken by Stephanie July 10, 2013
15. Boy Painting Flowers Stalked by Grey Ghost: status - painted over
This image was painted by Banksy as another Gray Ghost jab, but according to Doug, Banksy decided the image was too trite. Banksy whitewashed the work and then painted a second work on top as a boy flying a refrigerator like a kite (in Katrina's high winds). As this wall contained two Banksy images, one of top of the other, there were 17 Banksy's done in New Orleans, but at 16 locations! I preferred the first one.
Boy Painting Flowers with the Gray Ghost stalking right behind him graying them out
I have found an uncropped version of this picture at s3.amazonaws.com. If it is yours please contact me
The Gray Ghost had been blotting out works for years and Banksy came to New Orleans "to do battle"
In my opinion Banksy did not finish this work before deciding to paint it over
The Gray Ghost on the left side of this study is from "Gray Ghost Attacks Stick Figure" (flipped horizontally), and the one on the right from "Gray Ghost Attacks Flowers"
The one in the center does not have the white highlighting added - which for the other two was apparently done without a stencil judging by the differences in paint strokes
16. Refrigerator Kite: status - painted over
The Boy Painting Flowers work (see #15 above) was replaced by Banksy within perhaps two days by this one
From a picture taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see Infrogmation
See the tire? A faint shadow of the Gray Ghost is still visible above it
I applied extreme contrast using Photoshop with the previous picture to reveal the Ghost
Gone (that's a different tire!) - Picture taken by me in on September 16, 2010
Faint clues of the second image still remain (see below)
With extreme Photoshop contrast, the kite boy's feet can be seen to the left of the tire and the tail of the kite to the far right.
Maybe the building owner will someday attempt restore the outer image?
17. No Loitering: status - building demolished after picture painted over
Doug said that the No Loitering text was on the building prior to Banksy's work
Picture taken on August 27, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation
No Loitering - Detail
Picture taken on August 28, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation
Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - The Gray Ghost got this one - apparently the only New Orleans Banksy destroyed by him. A tiny bit of the bottom of the rocking chair is still visible.
Date & source unknown - If this is yours please contact me
Building gone - Picture taken by Stephanie July 9, 2013
Was an attempt made to salvage the work?
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© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter