Banksy Mocks Jacko in Santa’s Ghetto Portrait


Santa’s Ghetto is a “squat art concept store” which began five years ago and opens in a different location each holiday season. It features 20 underground artists under the wing of pop art graffiti prankster Banksy. The keyword at this exhibition is “affordable”, however, that does not apply to Banksy himself, whose work is surging in popularity. Banksy exhibited four works at Santa’s Ghetto which were reportedly purchased within ten minutes of the show’s opening. One of the works, which features Michael Jackson luring an unsuspecting Hansel and Gretel to his gingerbread house with a candy cane, reportedly went for £100,000.

Other works on display include “Downing Street” by Peter Kennard which features Tony Blair snapping photos of a Mideast explosion on his cameraphone.

The Daily Mail has a few more details on what’s in store: “Other artworks include two portraits of Mona Lisa by Nick Walker, in which Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic subject is mocked up as Marge Simpson and with her rear exposed, and Emma Heron’s ‘vendalimb’ machine which has a black child with a leg blown off gazing into it. Also up for sale is a Tube map in which every station is named Error, a teddy bear stabbed with a kitchen knife and a picture of Saddam Hussein in an American military uniform.”

Banksy quipped of the show: “I felt the spirit of Christmas was being lost. It was becoming increasingly uncommercialised and more and more.”

This year’s exhibition is on Oxford Street adjacent to the Tottenham Court Tube station until Christmas. Check out this video piece on CNN.

You can also visit the exhibition online by checking out this flickr set by Doc18.

Banksy’s ‘Christmas Ghetto’ art store open for business [daily mail]
Banksy takes aim at Jackson with ‘Hansel and Gretel’ art [times online]


Tony Blair photo by Su-Lin

You may have missed…
Banksy and Warhol: They’re a Steal [tr]
Bidding Frenzy for Banksy Warhol Fakes of Kate Moss [tr]
Banksy Addresses the Elephant in the Room [tr]
Paris Hilton “Screwed” by Graffiti Artist Banksy [tr]


  1. mark m says

    His subjects feel a bit too on-the-nose for me. It’s easy to become a guerilla artist when you are choosing such predictable targets. Make light of Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton? Not exactly cutting edge stuff. Tony Blair is insensitive to the war? Ok. Torture is bad. Um, sure, why not.

  2. anon says

    I think you’re being a simplistic if you think the whole point of that piece is to take a shot at Jacko.

    I’m disturbed by how I can look at it and think, wow, he’s an evil pedophile, and yet at the same time, it’s such a sweet scene, and the I love the colors. And, worse, because I’ve grown up with thinking he’s such a superstar, I think there are times when I’m in denial about what a pervert he is.

    I don’t think he’s attacking him at all. I think it’s more about the nature of celebrity and other hifalutin stuff that I can’t be arsed to try write about.

  3. Bryce says

    Actually Anon, I think everyone who sees the image sees the point you are making, the problem is, that exact point is what has been seen before and done to death, which ultimately is what is simplistic about this piece. It’s not original. The scene here, which you didn’t mention (perhaps you missed the point) is that this is the Hansel and Gretal story with the two children finding the gingerbread house in the woods occumpied by the witch who consumes them. Something I personally have seen years ago with an actual gingerbread house and Michael Jackson at the door. It’s been done. The point of Michael Jackson being a “Pedophile” is further muddied in this image by having one of the children being a little girl….where Michael Jackson is believed to only have alleged male victims. He didn’t even get that right. :o)

  4. RB says

    Yes, all of the Jacko jokes have been seen before but this one clearly is wrong. Have any of you ever seen a “girl” in Neverland? Superstar or not, he is clearly a pedophile and skirted prosecution because of his fame. Shameful to say the least!

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