Not a Banksy, but was inspired by him...

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It might not be a Banksy, but the street art spotted today (Friday, November 13) was apparently by a street artist inspired by him.

The graffiti matches work of Weston-super-Mare born and bred JPS, who describes himself as ‘more than your average street artist’ on his Facebook page. The same work is featured on his Facebook page and website, where you can see him creating it.

Questions about whether the street art was the work of internationally acclaimed Banksy were raised by residents earlier today, when a reader spotted the mural in Chichester.

She said: “I spotted this today in a side street off of East Street. “Looks extraordinarily similar to many of Banksy’s pieces?”

JPS said Banksy, also a political activist and film director, whose identity is unknown, changed his life. “In 2009, the street artist known as JPS was on a downward spiral- then a visit to the Banksy exhibit in Bristol turned his life around,” his website states. The 37-year-old street artist said: “Five and a half years ago, I was homeless from drink and drugs, two of my friends were murdered when I was 19 and I went down a bad path.

“I’m from a tough estate and I lost a lot of friends. I hid my grief through drink, and wasted 12 years of my life. Then in 2009 I went to visit the Banksy show in Bristol and I thought ‘hey I could do that’. I was into fine art when I was younger, but Banksy inspired me, he saved my life and I respect him.” He said his work has been featured at the Tate Modern and in a Hyundai advert. “It’s not that I just wanna damage a wall, I’m very careful where I do my pieces,” he said.

“What’s art for some isn’t for others.”

Find out more at http://www.jpsart.co.uk/

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