Banksy’s rat daubs graffiti in Fitzrovia

A new artwork believed to have been created by the artist Banksy has appeared on a wall in Fitzrovia, central London during Easter Monday. The work in blood red paint features the stencilled rat which has appeared in many of his creations.

Writing on a wall says: "If graffiti changed anything - it would be illegal"

“If graffiti changed anything – it would be illegal” says a statement by what is believed to be a new artwork by Banksy.


A stencil of a rat with red paint on one of its paws

The rat has appeared in a number of Banksy works.

The red paint which has been slapped on quickly contains runs, and drips onto the pavement near the wall and was still soft this afternoon when Fitzrovia News contributors went to examine it.

A stencilled rat appears to stand on a ledge, and has red paint on one of its paws after having just signed the work with a paw print.

A local security guard confirmed it had arrived between midnight and sometime in the early hours of Monday morning. The artwork was already getting the attention of passers by and several groups of people had already been to photograph it.

Graffiti on the wall showing the location of nearby streets

The corner of Clipstone and Cleveland Streets in Fitzrovia.

The artwork is on a wall on the corner of Clipstone Street and Cleveland Street at the end of a row of shops and next to the BT Tower.

This is the second large work by Banksy to have appeared in Fitzrovia and in the part of the neighbourhood under the authority of Westminster City Council. A previous artwork — One Nation Under CCTV — was removed at the insistence of the Council after it decided it that it shouldn’t have been created without planning permission.

Update: 26 April. Since we published this piece yesterday a number of people have suggested what Banksy’s motivation is. One of these, Capturing Banksy says:

Banksy’s latest street pieces which appeared in London over the Easter bank holiday reworks an old anarchist slogan coined by Emma Goldman “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” The piece seems to be a reference to a spate of recent arrests in LA of street artists such as Invader and Revok who are involved with the MOCA show. — New Banksy street piece in London references arrests in LA reported yesterday about the arrest of one street artist:

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s ambitious Art in the Streets carries a decree declaring graffiti is a contemporary art form. While the show has been tagged as a success by critics and been enjoying solid attendance, the exhibition isn’t matching the action found on the streets. — Street Art, Graffiti, Tagging — Same or Different? MOCA Show Blurs Debate

Banksy at MOCA “Art in the Streets”

People give their views on Banksy

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New Banksy in Fitzrovia? If Graffiti Changed Anything It Would Be Illegal

Banksy Is Back At It! – Graffiti is Illegal!

14 Comments on Banksy’s rat daubs graffiti in Fitzrovia

  1. Brilliant to be the first to spot & record
    it : I was so sorry his best at the Post Office
    was removed. It was so clever. Great he’s
    back with us ….

    • I usually like Bansky and I love his little rat and the little red mark of a paw at the bottom of his latest art work. I don’t like the graffiti itself though: not Bansky’s best caption as far as I am concerned.

  2. Excellent. Welcome back Mr. B. Am just popping out to have a look at it – love the craquelure ground and subtle chiaroscuro treatment of the rodent (!) evident in the photograph. Not so sure about reading too many topical references into the slogan. Well done Fitzrovia News contributors for being so quick off the mark.

  3. Think this might have a reference to May 5 referendum?

  4. Jolly good stuff. Can you get an emergency preservation order placed on it before the censorious Westminster Council vandals destroy it?

  5. I’m sick of seeing the buildings of Fitzrovia defaced by the likes of “Banksy” and his fellow vandals. The sooner this graffitus is removed, the better.

  6. Like it – thanks for posting!

  7. Although not a fan of graffiti normally (I recently informed one of my neighbouring cllrs in Westminster of some particularly rude graffiti on Great Portland Street in an effort to get rid of it), I like this Banksy and think that it improves the wall that it’s on!

    If you’d like to save it please sign the petition here:

  8. The “rat” was added after this – now perspexed – graffito first appeared.

  9. “This is the second large work by Banksy to have appeared in Fitzrovia”

    Is it, really?

    For all you know the “work” could have been done by Ban Ki-moon.

  10. Was this putative “security guard” observing the wall from the Tower Tavern? That’s the only place with a clear view of the – alleged – “Banksy” wall.

  11. Reblogged this on syndayborwns and commented:
    Banksy is amazing

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