Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Banksy Is a Good Guy - Taking Care of the Homeless Guy with The Giant Elephant
In 2011, Banksy painted on this water tanker with a stencil saying 'This Looks a Bit Like an Elephant'. Once the water tanker got transformed into art, some money minded art investors immediately bought and removed it. The thing was, this water tanker served as a makeshift home to a otherwise homeless man, Tachowa Covington. Even though it was makeshift, Tachowa had turned the water tanker into a real home, complete with electricity, television, security cameras and an actual address to receive postal mail delivery. However, once it became art, what was worthless became valuable, and the removal of the Elephant Water Tanker by the investors left Tachowa homeless, again.
M&F was one of the first news outlets to break the story that Banksy's art had made a man homeless, and we have been tapped into all the the subsequent action since. You can check out many articles following how it was confirmed that Banksy's painting did lead to Tachowa losing his water tanker home, when the Elephant Tanker got moved, and many more up close pictorial features. It is especially interesting to compare the pimped out photos from the inside of the tanker during its prime (pictured below), because it looked nothing like that at the time that Banksy painted it.
Well, the Daily Mail is reporting that once Banksy was made aware of Tachowa's situation, that before Tachowa even had to spend a day on the streets, Banksy stepped in and gave Tachowa enough money to support himself for an entire year!
At the time Tachowa lost his home, M&F had wondered out loud how Banksy generally uses his art to help and empower the common people, yet his art causing Tachowa's eviction seemed to do the exact opposite of that? But the good guys do not announce every good deed with a press release. It took years to suss out what really happened, but it is reassuring to hear that this story does have a happy ending. Banksy reaffirms time and again, that he has power, and the ability to make money off prints like a mint, but that he uses his power and influence wisely and quietly to help those in need. Banksy might be a criminal. He is definitely a vandal. But bottom line, Banksy is a good guy.
Tachowa is definitely a big fan of Banksy and he says "There ain't no better man than Banksy. He was an angel to me. He helped me more than anyone has helped me in my life."
As for the Elephant Tanker itself, there is no word where it is currently located, or whether or not it ever re-sold. As M&F pointed out at the time, this Tanker is such a tremendously huge piece, that it would be difficult and awkward to display, even if someone wanted to. Anyone have any word about where the Elephant Tanker ended up?