After spending much of the past year in storage, a mural completed by famous graffiti artist Banksy will be on display at the 555 Gallery as early as November.
The painting, which depicts a boy holding a can of red paint, alongside the words, "I remember when all this was trees,"
was removed by gallery artists from the Packard Plant in May 2010. 555 Gallery, in contest with the owners of the Packard Plant, won clear title to the piece for a mere $2,500 -- a fraction of its estimated $100,000 worth. It's the culmination of a saga which pitted graffiti purists, arguing that place is intrinsic to the meaning of the mural, against preservationists, who contended the removal saved Banksy's work from certain destruction.
The controversy itself has now become part of the accrued meaning of the mural -- what Becky Hart, associate curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, calls "a patina of narrative."
"The piece is different now that it's not in its original location," said Hart. "But part of the meaning is its accrued locations. 555 entered into that dialogue about abandonment and re-use when they relocated the piece."
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