The Kettering Banksy ridiculing politicians and billionaires

Bod's work has gone viral

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
This poster in Kettering's Horsemarket went viral.
This poster in Kettering's Horsemarket went viral.

"Naughtiness is an amazing creative drive. You can't change anything really, the future is all whatever billionaires dictate."

That's the view of Bod, the mischievous Kettering artist changing national newspaper covers, posters and billboards one laugh at a time.

Just like his inspiration Banksy everything he does is anonymous. He spoke to the Northants Telegraph about his work and why he does it.

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Fake menus by Bod mocking Brexit have appeared in Wetherspoons pubs across the country.

He said: "It all started about nine years ago when I lived in Corby. I'd seen a short video Banksy made about altering the Paris Hilton CD in various record shops and it was inspiring.

"It was around Christmas that year that a Katie Price book was in shops. She hadn't written any of it herself and to me she was an obscene example of everything I disliked about celebrities, so I redesigned and replaced a few of the covers with a caricature of her cosmetic surgery around Corby and Kettering.

"One stayed in the window of Waterstones for about four days without any of the staff noticing/caring, which made me chuckle."

The following year Bod moved to Kettering and he soon started to build up a fanbase. His Facebook page has 2,500 'likes' and images of his work have been shared thousands of times.

Bod's fake 'Brexit Circus' poster.

Much of it is too rude for us to publish, but other work has caught the eye.

They include stickers on lamp-posts mocking the Northamptonshire County Council decision to turn off more than 30,000 street lights, making them 'easy crime zones' according to Bod.

He's also altered Wetherspoons menus to make them 'gammon' only, an insult used by many to describe angry, red-faced men, changed Daily Mail front pages in shops with fake stories and put up billboards depicting pretend messages from the Government and posters advertising the "Brexit circus".

Bod often hides in plain sight using high-vis, wears a hat or hood and makes sure he is aware of security cameras.

Bod's Boris Johnson stencil, based on his inspiration Banksy's famous design.

But why does he do it?

He said: "Politics is stuck in and driven by big business. There are politicians who start off decent but the more they get buried in the chess moves of government the more they lose their initial principles.

"The reaction is to ridicule it to gain some control over it in your own bubble of reality.

"It's all for fun. If it makes me laugh then it's a winner. I'm a fan of subversive art so apart from the more silly headlines I do, I try to get some kind of attitude or message across that I hope makes people laugh and maybe lessen the power of all the adverts and articles they see every day."

Bod's sticker mocking the NCC decision to turn off street lights.

Bod has since moved to Dorset but some of his work is still seen in Kettering, with the fake Wetherspoons menus recently cropping up in the town's Earl of Dalkeith pub.

One popular poster has even ended up being used as a design by others on mugs and T-shirts - and the artist joked they were the criminals as they hadn't asked for his permission.

His latest move is to start rewriting the stories in The Sun to "exaggerated, ridiculous versions of the bigoted stories that Murdoch would feed into the system to try to manipulate submissive minds" before placing them back in cafes and waiting rooms for a chuckle.

But what next for Bod?

He said: "Building up a countrywide team of people I can trust is in development to go out and annoy their own advertising hoardings and arrogant big companies.

"Like Fight Club but without Brad Pitt. Or Edward Norton."