The Essex-based dealer who has bought the Banksy image painted on a garage in Port Talbot says that plans are moving ahead for an urban art centre in the South Wales town. John Brandler bought Season’s Greetings, for an undisclosed six-figure sum; Ian Lewis, a steelworker who owns the garage, told The Sun newspaper that the “offer was less than others but this man [Brandler] agreed to keep it in the town”.
Brandler tells The Art Newspaper: “I visited Port Talbot last Friday and had discussions with the local council and a representative from the Welsh assembly. We looked at several sites in or near the town centre to decide where would be the best place to position [the new centre].” The Welsh government has funded security arrangements after thousands of people turned up to see the piece.
Season's Greetings depicts a child enjoying a snow shower which, from another angle, is revealed as a cascade of ash, alluding possibly to the poor air quality in the area due to local steelworks.
Most of the comments on the artist’s Instagram feed praise Banksy’s project in Wales. “[It is] a brilliant piece, and resonates with people,” says one contributor. The move reignites the debate about the long-term future of Banksy’s works and who owns the lucrative pieces. Another contributor adds: “Saddened people are selling your work for profit.” Banksy has yet to comment on the sale.