I sell a rat
Created 12/18/2012 - 6:02pm
Public street art as private purchase? Banksy's Haight Street rat turns up in Miami
STREET SEEN Like many of his Bay Area art world peers, the beret-wearing rat that Banksy stenciled on the side of Haight Street's Red Victorian hotel in 2010 was in Miami for Art Basel week.
But sadly, our stenciled friend wasn't available for air-kisses. The rodent-adorned chunk of wall hung behind a velvet rope and its own security guard in the VIP lounge at Context, a new-this-year contemporary wing of the sprawling Art Miami art fair.
The rodent was one of five reappropriated Banksy walls being shown in an exhibition that was controversial even by the standards of Basel week's art-star-big-money whirligig. A local weekly newspaper helpfully pointed out that the wheelings-and-dealings in Miami during Basel involve art worth roughly the GDP of Guyana. (Check out the Guardian's Pixel Vision blog for our full report on the week's best showings, scenes, stilettos.)