Detroit, 27 April 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
A street work by British artist Banksy, which appeared on the wall of a disused car factory in Detroit in May 2010, has finally been installed on the premises of the 555 gallery, a non-commercial exhibition space and artists’ residence.
The 555 collective has caused controversy in acquiring the wall, which was situated in an immense industrial wasteland. For some street art specialists, moving the work removed its raison d’être, its temporal character, and the link between the place and the work of art. The work presents a young boy holding a bucket of red paint, apparently just having written “I remember when all this was trees”. For the art collective, the most important thing was to keep a little bit of beauty and artistic sense in Detroit, a city which has been brought to the brink of collapse by the financial crisis and the decline of industry. The question of ownership has also been raised, and the collective has been attacked by Romel Casab, via his company Bioresource Inc., which owns the land upon which the mural, which has an estimated value of $100,000, previously stood.
According to Detroitnews.com, 555 collective, under the leadership of Carl Goines, and Bioresource Inc. settled the case in mid-April, with the gallery paying the owner of the land $2,500 in damages. 555 collective, which has attempted to preserve the Banksy work by placing it in a metal frame, finally presented it at its new premises, a former police station, on 27 April.