It’s always interesting to read of the gifts exchanged by world leaders at their official meetings. Famously, when Barack Obama met Gordon Brown in 2009, he presented him with a set of classic movie DVDs, in response to Brown’s more thoughtful gift of an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet. After the media stir Obama’s perceived snub to Brown received, David Cameron must have thought long and hard before deciding on his gift for his meeting with Obama this week. So what did he end up getting? A piece of grafitti art, naturally.
The artwork is by Ben Eine, who is famed in London for his distinctive alphabet letters, which are painted on shop shutters across the city. The work, shown above, is titled Twenty First Century City, and, according to a report on the BBC News site, Eine is “one of the PM’s wife Samantha’s favourite artists”. Eine, in response to the news, said it had been a “weird day”. Indeed. Is this the end for graffiti art’s anti-establishment credentials?
Perhaps smarting from media rollicking that he received after his gift to Brown, Obama has upped his gift-giving game this time around, and also followed the art route, gifting Cameron an Ed Ruscha painting, titled Column with Speed Lines.
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