Harriet asks:

“Do you know anything about the Banksy style “rat” stencils which appeared a few months ago in East Greenwich? I’m not convinced they’re genuine as Banksy doesn’t usually put writing on his stuff and they say “Dicky Jones” on them.

Perhaps you put them there. Are you Dicky Jones? There are a couple of rats coming out of the North exit of Maze Hill train station on the brickwork, and there is one on the corner of Old Woolwich Road and East Street….”

The Phantom replies:

Me? Certainly not. If I were going to daub the walls of East Greenwich with derivative art it would be with little baby Phantoms, obviously.

Yeah – these little critters have been popping up all over town, but I confess that I’ve not been wildly impressed with them. Banksy hit the zeitgeist because he came up with, and continues to come up with witty, fresh material – witness the very fabulous Chicken Nuggets exhibit in Greenwich Village. Anyone doing stencils these days and not coming up with something utterly amazing (rats on street corners? Who’d have thought it…) should be looking for a more original way to express themselves, IMHO. They don’t offend me, but neither are they great art.

Of course – if it is Banksy – well, if I were his school art teacher I’d give him 4 out of 10 and write ‘must try harder’ on his report card…

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