Weed united with Banksy through a cow

At some point in Weed, the hero Bob goes on a TV game show and wins a cow:

So back at the Heavenly Estate, Weed chained up the cow in the bike sheds. There was plenty of free space because all the bikes had long since been stolen. The next morning the cow was still there. It was covered with graffiti but otherwise OK.

The cow, incidentally, becomes a pretty important character in the story.

When I had Weed bring the cow home to the awful place he lives, I thought it was a jolly jape that  the cow would get sprayed with graffiti like everything else. There are certain estates and neighbourhoods where everything is covered in graffiti so why not the cow you chained up over night?

I thought this was a nice bit of whimsy — who would really graffiti a cow?

Banksy would. I recently picked up Banksy’s Wall and Piece, and lo (no pun intended) there was a gloriously sprayed up cow. Not just one cow, but a number of cows — and sheep and at least one pig too. What an image: our urban art guerilla sneaking into farms at night hosing down the heifers with colour.

(Interjection: Banksy has created a great many animal rights statements in his work — see the New York Village Pet Shop and Charcoal Grill installation, for example — and we can feel confident that the animals were not harmed while being sprayed.)

Is this a case of life imitating art or art imitating life or, perhaps, art imitating art.

Whatever. Here’s a Banksy cow looking exactly as I imagined my Weed cow to look.

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Of course, through the Google-shaped window you can see all the other beasties Banksy has painted on.

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About chrispagefiction

Author of the novels Sanctioned, Weed, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree; also the story collection Un-Tall Tales; editor, freelance writer and all that stuff. At heart he is a London person, but the rest of his body is a long-term exile in Osaka, Japan.
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