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Banksy, street artists take aim at London Olympics

July 23, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • One of the artist Banksy's Olympic-themed works.
One of the artist Banksy's Olympic-themed works. (http://www.banksy.co.uk )

With the Olympics only a matter of days away, competitors of another sort have begun making their presence known around England: street artists.

While the athletes begin settling into their temporary homes at London's Olympic Park, a variety of artists have been tweaking the games from various angles, including one piece by Criminal Chalkist that first appeared last year in Bristol and is now making its way to London shops as well as Ebay on T-shirts.

Given the style of the piece, maybe some mistaken identity is inevitable given the prominence of a certain gift shop-exiting artist/documentarian. In a Facebook post, Criminal Chalkist didn't seem to mind, however, chortling: "Our olympics piece being sold on ebay as a banksy. it's not. lol."

Banksy couldn't resist picking up the theme with the above image as well as a striking portrait of an Olympic pole vaulter mid-jump descending on a filthy abandoned mattress.

Some of the other images collected on the website Is This the Future are equally impressive, including a diver headed for an open toilet, a dog having an amorous moment with puzzled-looking Olympic mascot Mandeville and a corporate-branded clown dragging smoke across the Olympic rings with a trail of dollars in his wake,

"It's just a cheeky little thing," Terry Baden, creator of the amorous canine, told the Associated Press. "It's a quite British thing to kind of take the mick [poke fun] a bit. It's not malicious." 

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