Music fans go the extra mile to show their dedication and admiration of their favorite artists, but the art world isn’t much different. Fandom is a wide-ranging topic to explore at another time, but we’ve all either witnessed or heard about crazed fans acting a bit extra. Banksy has been an elusive figure—possibly “figures”—in the graffiti art scene as street illustrations and installations have popped up worldwide.
For decades, people have been attempting to absolutely confirm without a shadow of a doubt who Banksy may be, and while that is heavily debated, his artwork continues to move his fans to act out, often believing they are doing so on his behalf.
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Banksy’s art also continues to be a hot commodity, including a piece that appeared back in 2018. It was a spray-painted image of what looked to be a child standing in the snow but on the reverse side, it showed the snowfall was ash from a fire. The artwork was sold to collector John Brandler for approximately $676K and a Banksy fan, 42-year-old Michael Thomas, was angered by the sale.
Prior to the piece making its way to its new owner, Thomas reportedly broke into a building in an effort to track down the artwork so he could spray white paint over it. Neighbors would hear Thomas and called the authorities who arrested him. During his trial, prosecutors claimed that Thomas wanted to destroy the art so no one could have it and witnesses reportedly heard him yelling, “I’m going to kill it.“
The defense argued that Thomas was only acting out of protest while the judge called Thomas’s actions bizarre. He was ordered to pay £1,058 compensation and has to wear an electric monitor for 12 weeks.