‘Brisbane’s Banksy’ Found Guilty as a Judge Decides His Street Art is NOT a ‘Blessing’

Anthony Lister, the man who’s earned the moniker of ‘Brisbane’s Banksy’ has been found guilty of one count of wilful damage by graffiti stemming from a rash of unauthorized street art around the city between 2009 and 2014.

Lister attempted to argue that his work was not intended to harm the sites, instead they were to be a “blessing.”

It wasn’t in any sort of condition to concern me that my gift wouldn’t be well received,” Lister said on Wednesday of a fire hose box he had painted on. “That’s enough grounds for me as an educated visual artist with a passion for [Brisbane’s] cultural progression to make the educated decision that a beautification blessing needs to take place.

The judge presiding over the case, Magistrate Barry Cosgrove, didn’t see the pieces as blessings, nor was he overly impressed when Lister handed him a portrait “that he had drawn during his two-day hearing in the Brisbane magistrates court. Cosgrave joked he wasn’t pleased with the drawing, saying: ‘I’ve got bigger jowls than that.'”

It’s hard to know if Lister genuinely believes in the motivation behind this work or if it’s just a publicity stunt of sorts. He can certainly afford the legal fees as his legitimate work currently sells for tens of thousand of dollars and can be found in the private collections of entertainment industry stars Pharrell Williams and Hugh Jackman.

(h/t The Guardian, photo via Facebook)