Steve Neavling falls for Metro Times’ April Fools’ prank
It goes without saying that you should take anything you read on April Fools’ Day with a grain of salt. When we saw reports of a new Banksy painting springing up in Hamtramck on the Hamtramck Star today, we immediately recognized it as a joke, and decided to engage in a little April Fools’ prank of our own by reporting it.
The joke-about-a-joke was lost on the crusading reporter Steve Neavling at the Motor City Muckracker, who ran the headline “Metro Times falls for April Fools’ prank, reports graffiti artist Banksy returned to Detroit.” Neavling thought we got punked … looks like we punked Neavling!
Neavling seems to be able to spot a fake Banksy from a mile away, but he can’t seem to detect a fake news story — writing “what’s unclear is whether the Hamtramck Star wrote the piece as a joke.” To us, the Hamtramck Star piece was dripping with sarcasm:
We couldn’t believe it either, but when we heard from a friend of a friend that Banksy had again visited Detroit to make a statement about “commercialism, capitalism and the mechanics of the art market”, we sent a request to Pest Control, a service that issues certificates on behalf of the artist. Despite their promise of a “lengthy and challenging process”, they were quick to reply in this case.
“Graffiti art has a hard enough life as it is – with council workers wanting to remove it and kids wanting to draw moustaches on it, before you add hedge-fund managers wanting to chop it out and hang it over the fireplace.”
“For the sake of keeping all street art where it belongs I’d encourage people not to buy anything by anybody unless it was created for sale in the first place.”
UPDATE: Deadline Detroit enters the fray. Thanks for the web traffic, guys!
UPDATE 2: Michael Jackman and Hillary Cherry have the whole story right here, with pics.