Banksy’s photographer reveals why graffiti artist has never been arrested

Steve Lazarides explains secret methods the pair used to fool police

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 17 December 2019 10:40
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Banksy’s photographer Steve Lazarides has revealed why the graffiti artist has never been arrested.

Lazarides worked with Banksy for 11 years, initially documenting the artist at work in 1997 before becoming his agent, strategist and minder.

Speaking about how the pair managed to avoid arrest, Lazarides told The Guardian: “The secret is hi-vis jackets and traffic cones. Nobody stops you if you have them.”

However, there was a morning in New York’s Meatpacking District when a group of transgender sex workers took exception to Banksy painting a wall.

“Some of them misconstrued what he was writing as homophobic and called the cops,” said Lazarides. “That’s about as close to getting arrested as we got.”

Lazarides added that him and Banksy had various excuses to help them get away with spraying walls. “Once I gave him a letter saying he had permission from a film producer to paint a wall,” said the photographer.

“And I would be the film producer, armed with a burner phone. If I got a call, I was primed to say, ‘Sorry mate, I meant him to do the other side of the street.’”

Lazarides’ photographs showing Banksy at work have been published in a new book titled Banksy Captured, out now.

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