The celebrated street artist Ben Eine (real name: Benjamin Flynn) has been charged with assault, following an incident at London’s Serpentine Gallery earlier this month.
A Metropolitan police spokesperson told frieze that Benjamin Flynn, aged 47, ‘was charged on Thursday 7 June with assault. He has been bailed to appear at court.’ The police confirmed that Flynn was charged following an incident at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, on the evening of Wednesday 6 June. The gallery was holding a private view for its current exhibition by Tomma Abts that evening.
Flynn has gained significant commercial success as a graffiti artist, and is well known for painting letters of the alphabet on shop shutters in East London. He is reportedly a close associate of the renowned street artist Banksy.
A collaboration with Anya Hindmarch catapulted Flynn to fame, when the designer put him in touch with Samantha Cameron, the wife of the then UK prime minister David Cameron. In 2010, Samantha Cameron chose one of Flynn’s works, titled ‘Twenty-first Century City’, for her husband to present to the US presidential couple Barack and Michele Obama on his first trip to the White House as prime minister. The artist reportedly became such a fan of Cameron that he tattooed ‘Vote Conservative’ on his leg. He later changed it to ‘Don’t Vote Conservative’.
Earlier this month, Flynn unveiled a mural in London responding to knife crime in the UK capital. He painted the words ‘Peace is Possible’ on the wall of Shoreditch House, a private members club. Flynn said that his work was ‘a reminder to both Londoners and visitors of the need to peacefully coexist in the capital.’