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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010
Don't bank on Frimley graffiti being a Banksy!
By Heather Driscoll-Woodford
BBC Surrey

Frimley art is a bit more of a "dribbly" than a Banksy

Love it or hate it, the interesting thing about notorious street artist Banksy's work, is the question of where it will appear next.

Famous for his clandestine approach to painting graffiti in public places, he has managed to create "stealth" art in all sorts of unusual surroundings.

His work has even popped up in the penguin enclosure at London Zoo and on the Israeli West Bank barrier.

So is he likely to have chosen Frimley for his latest piece? Probably not.

The three images in question have been spotted in Frimley Green Road, the wall of a house in Warren Rise (seen above) and outside the Spar mini supermarket at Dettingen Park, Deepcut.

They are all the same design, a slightly disproportionate silhouette of a family group.

Two of the figures have strangely flat heads which bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain pop impresario's haircut, so maybe the perpetrator is a fan?

They have all been created with the same stencil technique the Bristol born artist Banksy is renowned for using.

Banksy image on a chemist wall in London
Banksy is famous for his stencil technique, developed for speed

However, it is highly unlikely the owners of the Surrey properties the designs have been sprayed on, are sitting on a goldmine, in quite the same way that owners of a Banksy original are.

A derelict pub for sale in Liverpool reportedly saw its value double from £495,000, after the graffiti artist painted a giant rat on the side of it.

The owners of a house in Bristol which was adorned with one of Banksy's earliest murals were set to sell it for £20,000 above the market value, thanks to the artwork on its wall.

In fact, they were so keen to preserve the original painting, that they put the art up for sale through a gallery, with the attached house thrown in for free!

The sale only faltered when the original work was defaced with more graffiti, only this time a far less artistic effort in liberally daubed red paint.

In 2008, online bidding for a Banksy work on a building wall in Portobello Road reached £208,100, with the cost of removal and repair of the wall, estimated to be about £5,000 extra!

Compare that with the fiver it will cost the residents of the house in Warren Rise, Frimley to slap a bit of white paint over the stencil art on their wall, and you can almost see the attraction of not owning the real thing.

Admittedly they won't be £200,000 richer either, as the small, smudgy happy family image is obviously not the work of the master.

Maybe they are happy with their urban art regardless. It and the other two images in the town have been there for some time, without removal.

And while I am a big fan of Banksy's work, had someone other than the artist himself daubed a small dribbly nod to his genius on my house, I'd be out there with a scrubbing brush at first light.

But at the risk of stirring up a hornets' nest of outrage on the subject of graffiti, perhaps our local Frimley artist should perhaps be given a modicum of credit.

For at least their "artistic" endeavours had a degree of originality, when compared with the spray-can scrawl we are used to seeing in the neighbourhood.

And the results of their act have been viewed and talked about by many of the local residents.

So today Frimley, tomorrow the World!

Or the magistrates court, perhaps.


Is it ever ok to graffiti someone else's property? Should graffiti ever be seen as real art? Do you know who sprayed the Frimley families? Email me at surrey@bbc.co.uk and tell me your thoughts on this topic.

I also saw a couple towards the end of last year. One along the Frimley Road near the Johnson's Wax Roundabout, and another couple at the parade of shops near Balmoral drive.

Adrian Faulkner

There were three more on Heatherside estate in Camberley. My girls noticed them, I think, round October/November time. One was on the bottle bank which has since been removed in the shopping car park. Another under the cashpoint outside Sainburies, which has had a poor attempt at cleaning it off. And the last is on the wall opposite the entrance to Sainsburies.

I think it was about October half term we noticed it, because we asked the community policeman if they were an advert for the community fireworks which happen on Halloween.

Debbie Welch

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