It emerges that the fabulous stencilled painting of poet John Masefield has been claimed by We Love Art, Malvern’s guerrilla art group.
And the Ledbury Reporter’s headline? “Priceless Banksy street art? Sorry, but it’s a fake.” Journalists – especially headline writers – love to paint their stories in lurid, simple colours and this is a great example of their craft.
The painting would be a fake if it had been passed off as something it wasn’t, if the We Love Art group were claiming it was actually a Banksy. They weren’t. It was their own, original work. The real thing. Authentic We Love Art.
A fake is something that isn’t genuine, a forgery or a sham.
Ledbury’s Masefield piece is none of these things. Ok, maybe not quite so illustrious or sought- after as a Banksy, but no less a piece of art for that.
Sorry, but the only fake in that headline, was the headline itself.
The Ledbury Reporter Responds...
The deputy editor of the Ledbury Reporter, John Wilson, has taken me severely to task for my comments above. He's sticking by the headline and the use of the word "Fake". I still don't think it's warranted, personally.
In our exchange of tweets, John says: 'Fake: a thing that is not genuine (OED). We have not suggested any cynicism. You're having a cheap pop, Rich'. To which I replied: 'Nah. A genuine pop. It's only fake if the intent was to deceive. I don't believe that to be the case. But if I'm wrong...'
So by way of right of reply, I'm happy to publish Mr Wilson's response:
'The picture of John Masefield is unsigned, and no one had publicly claimed responsibility for it until the Ledbury Reporter revealed that it was the work of the We Love Art team.
In the meantime, speculation had been allowed to grow unchecked that it was painted by the famous street artist Banksy (not surprising since the Masefield picture is strikingly similar in style to Banksy’s work).
Anonymous Banksy-type street art has appeared in other towns recently, and the interest it has generated has generally been welcomed.
I have no idea if this was the intention in this case, but the picture was certainly not the genuine article, and your venomous criticism of the Ledbury Reporter for revealing the truth is wholly unwarranted.'