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The stencil that was the topic of the comment (photos courtesy Citylights Projects, all rights reserved) (click to enlarge)

Lotus Johnson left this illuminating comment on Alison Young’s post “Art, Value & Banksy’s Rats in Melbourne,” which included an illustration of a stencil depicting a native Australian flower stabbing a Banksy signature animal, the rat:

From my point of view as a flower and graffiti photographer, the photo of Banksy being stabbed by a native Australian flower had me laugh so hard I just about fell off the chair, since the flower is a Banksia (looks like Banksia coccinea) first collected and brought to England by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770.

Banksia coccinea (via Wikipedia)

Wikipedia describes the Banksia this way:

These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting “cones” and heads.

One of the great things about street art is that there are often levels of meaning that don’t emerge right away. In this case, the joke is all that much funnier when you realize that Banksy is being stabbed by his Australian “cousin.”

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.