The art dealer who arranged for Banksy’s Art Buff to be sent to Miami on behalf of the Goddens, has said the artwork was not created to celebrate the 2014 Triennial but was in fact a satire piece over squandered funds spent on art installations in a town broken by poverty.
Robin Barton, who was named in the High Court proceedings has also said that it was Banksy who returned to Folkestone and added the erect phallus to the plinth, after a protective screen was put up by the local council.
The comments come after the Creative Foundation has secured the art work following a lengthy legal battle to return Art Buff to Folkestone, almost a year after it appeared and was confirmed on Banksy's website with the title: 'part of the triennial, kind of.'
Alastair Upton, chief executive of the Creative Foundation said they were: "fully aware of the satirical nature of Banksy’s work" and had been delighted with the local and national response to the artwork's return.
The dealer also known as Bankrobber suggested that those people responsible for the return of Banksy’s piece should consider which way the much travelled and troubled lady in the piece should face, and asked if they are quite ready to share the artist's joke.
Banksy dealer claims Art Buff was not in celebration of Triennial
Responding to the art dealer's comments, Alastair said: "As Robin Barton is no doubt aware, art is subjective and the location, context and imagery of the work is all part of Banksy’s response."
Dreamland Leisure Limited, whose share holders are owned by the Executors of the late James Godden, arranged for Art Buff to be cut out of the property shortly after its appearance on the back of the amusement arcade, but the High Court last week confirmed that as the Company only lease the building and do not own it, they were not entitled to remove it.
Robin had arranged for shipment and the artwork's appearance at an art fair in Miami, as part of a collaboration between his gallery Bankrobber London and the Keszler Gallery, where it failed to sell. He faced criticism in 2011 with the same collaboration, when the two galleries attempted to sell two pieces by Banksy stencilled on to walls in the West Bank. Pest Control who authenticate Banksy's work said they admonished the gallery for removing the pieces from their original setting, according to an article in the Independent.
Art Buff is expected to arrive back in the UK this week.