When The University for the Creative Arts announced a week prior that Banksy was going to be awarded an honorary professorship, they likely didn’t expect anyone to walk across the stage and claim the honor. But as the endless register of student names was coming to an end, one student decided to do just that...
As mortar-board wielding students filled the seats of the Royal Festival Hall and parents held back tears of pride, it seemed like any other typical university graduation ceremony on a sunny London day. But one chair on stage was left suspiciously empty. When The University for the Creative Arts announced a week prior that Banksy was going to be awarded an honorary professorship, they likely didn’t expect anyone to walk across the stage and claim the honor. But as the endless register of student names was coming to an end, one student decided to do just that.
Despite the student body being told that while walking across the stage you were just meant to nod once for the chairwoman and once more for your head of school, Ben Wray, a Film and Digital Art graduate, decided that after nodding to the chairwoman he would defy the university by leaving the stage with Banksy’s Professorship in hand. You can see a video of his heist here.
His stunt was met with cheers from the crowd and confusion from the staff who sat on stage. When asked why he did it, Ben said: “The University for the Creative Arts and I have had a bitter relationship over the past 3 years, this was my way of blowing one final kiss of poison before leaving forever. That being said, I’m looking forward to start teaching there in September”.
Later that day, Banksy liked Ben's instagram post, which could be interpreted to be an endorsement. Or not. However, in typical Banksy fashion, he unliked it leaving no trace behind. Ben was thankfully on his phone in the 30 second window that Banksy's like was present and managed to capture a couple of screenshots before the praise left like a hooded street artist into the night.
ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.
ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.
The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.
If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.