Popular street artist Andy McVeigh – aka Burley Banksy – has said he will no longer paint in the area around his home due to repeated vandalism.
The artist has been decorating street furniture in the Burley and Kirkstall areas for year, before rising to fame with his Leeds United themed electircity boxes near Elland Road football ground.
The boxes were also targeted by a separate group calling themselves Leeds Residents Against Graffiti.
The 50-year-old said his work was constantly being defaced, but damage to a joint mural (pictured above) he did in memory of a friend who took his own life were the final straw.
This is me done with the street art,I'm afraid. Haven't got time or emotional energy to keep repairing them. Most get ruined. You'll never win against scumbags like these. Also getting abusive messages written about me on my street so they know where I live. V unsettling & I'm pic.twitter.com/6lykHvg65o— Andy McVeigh (@pantsdanny) August 3, 2020
Mr McVeigh, a teacher, posted on social media:
“This is me done with the street art, I’m afraid. Haven’t got time or emotional energy to keep repairing them. Most get ruined.
“You’ll never win against scumbags like these.
“Also getting abusive messages written about me on my street so they know where I live.
“Very unsettling and I’m concerned next stage is maybe damaging my van or house.”
Mr McVeigh said he could no longer keep up with repairs to his work. He added:
“It takes probably eight hours to do one then two times that for repairs. Have to earn living. Council/cops can’t help they say. It’s affecting mental health. Up all night as now when hear noise outside at 2am I’m worried it’s graffiti lads about to put windows through after messages they wrote.”
Hundreds of supporters on Twitter have rallied round Mr McVeigh.
“Don’t let them win!! Your work does so much good for the city. Keep it up, the positives outweigh negatives.”
Jacqui Honess-Martin added:
“You’ve made a massive change to Burley for the better and as an LS4 resident I will be forever grateful. Thank you.”
Darren John Young added:
“For what it’s worth Andy, for every one arsehole that defaces your work, there are 20,000 Leeds fans who think what you do is absolutely fantastic. I get the security concerns though and you have to do what’s right for you. Whatever you decide, good on ya. MOT.”