With the start of November comes the end of Halloween and also the sad acknowledgement that Banksy’s artist in residency in New York has come to an end. For the last month, it was like Christmas everyday! I eagerly headed to my computer to check and see which part of New York Banksy had left his mark. The closest I got to seeing anything up close was seeing his truck with the jungle inside, although it was sealed up tight, it still got me excited that I stumbled upon it. It felt like discovering Waldo (or Wally) This time around, Monsieur “Banski” (I LOVE how his audio files kept mispronouncing his name) had an audio guide. Each one made me laugh out loud.
Here’s what I came away with after this month long street art Christmas. For once in my life, I was NEAR the action. Even though I never came across his pieces…it was in my head that it was possible. He was slinking around in my hood and it felt great when I knew the places he had been. He even ventured to QUEENS! Also, it just reinforced why I LOVE street art. Street art is accessible art, open for everyone to view, art critic or not. You either like it or you don’t. I love how Banksy approached the topic of how pompous the art world can be and his versatility…one minute a truck full of shrieking stuffed animals, the next a grim reaper in a bumper car. And I especially liked that he set up a vendor to sell his pieces to unsuspecting pedestrians. Some guy in Chicago is now the VERY proud (and wealthy) owner of multiple original Banksy pieces. I hope someone tells him!
With this residency Banksy has most certainly expanded his fan base and he even turned New Yorkers into street art vigilantes. In some cases New Yorkers were huddling in groups warding off vandals, and landlords were erecting gates and doors to protect their new million dollar facades. His anonymity is at the center of everything. Who is this person? For me, he’s a bit like Santa Batman…sneaking around at night in the shadows leaving amazing gifts behind for all to enjoy.
In the end…Banksy was BRILLIANT. I loved every single minute of his time in New York. Banksy…whomever you are, thanks for making Rocktober SO entertaining! I most certainly want to live in a “world made of art’! Please come back soon!
To see his entire residency in NY click HERE.