Monday, 27 December 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews Artkieda's AK-47 (Issue 6)

Is heisting a piece of art a work of art in itself? Those are the blurred lines prankster, mischief maker, artist, jump-suited nutter and all round shadowy doer of mayhem AK 47 is out to cross, then reverse and cross over again. Infallibly controversial, from his light fingered lifting of Banksy’s Drinker which led him straight to the still smoldering Bonfire of the Momart Vanities to nicking Tracey Emin’s latest slice of drivel, he has opened questions about ownership, value, and the flexibility of the concept of conceptual art. An artist in his own right in between court appearances for exhibiting live firearms, we caught up with AK himself for a quick word...

How did you get involved in the street art scene? 

As a kid I used to do a lot of tagging when I was about 17/18. This was in 1974, before anybody knew of the term tagging or knew what it was. I used to write ‘linky ok’, the ‘ok’ was a bit like a ‘@’ sign with the ‘k’ inside the ‘o’. I got arrested for criminal damage on a local bus shelter and while in the cells I dug into the old plaster wall in huge letters, ‘linky OK’ which made my not guilty plea to the shelter damage impossible.

You made headlines when you kidnapped a Banksy piece in the west end of London called The Drinker. What made you lift the piece in the first place? 

As a joke and because I knew I could, I knew nobody else would have thought of doing it How did you go about taking The Drinker and where exactly did you take it? I hired a lorry with driver from a friend’s garage in mid-afternoon, went down and removed it from the back of Tottenham Court Road. We drove the piece off blindfolded so he couldn’t see where he was going. Haha. We took it to a friend’s squatted warehouse in Dalston, just off Kingsland road. Did Banksy see the funny side of the stunt? I don’t know, I hope so. I know his manager Steve Lazarides didn’t.

We’ve watched YouTube videos showing you and the lads pretending to blow the piece up with fireworks but what did you really have planned for the piece?

I wanted to swap it for a Banksy original canvas. I mean, I did get him his first broadsheet front cover, a PR dream. I was even contacted by the Guardian’s legal team and made to sign an affidavit that I was nothing to do with Banksy or Pictures on Walls and that this was not a publicity stunt arranged by him. This PR alone was worth a piece. When I sent him the ransom note he offered me the money to buy a gallon of petrol to burn it, and I said I would gladly do that if he gave me a can of petrol that he signed. I was, and still am a massive fan and couldn’t really afford one of his pieces.


 London Street-Art Design Official Portal


Ananda nahu, The Correspondents, Solo One, Soulflux, The Orb + Youth, Jerm IX, 69 DB, Raymond Salvatore Harmon, Rennie Pilgrem, The Yes Men, Resto, Chaz, Neurodriver, Lokey, Elate, Dhear One, Page 51, Umek, Karma, Andrew Tiernan, K-Guy, Richard A Webster, William Parry, Andy C, Jesus Greus, Push Pony, James Lightning Wilks, Dominic Spreadlove, AK - 47, Mr Sofalumpkins, Mat Banbury, MikkiM, David Corden, Ian Milne, Punch Music, Hudson Zuma, Wayne Anthony, Sirius23

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