Banksy hits New York City, but the City Hits Back



    Banksy taunts the law with the first piece in his residency, completed on October 1st at Allen and Canal Street in Manhattan. Photo courtesy carnagenyc on Flickr.

Acclaimed street artist Banksy has crossed the pond from his native UK, and is now leaving his marks all around New York City. Since October 1st, he’s created upwards of 10 pieces as part of his monthlong “residency” (to borrow a term from the professional art world), titled “Better Out Than In.” Banksy’s playful work often offers social or political commentary, and he hasn’t limited himself to sidewalks and walls in New York — he’s already created two mobile pieces ontrucks. Many of the New York pieces include mock audio guides that poke fun at the recorded messages offered to museum-goers, which are also available online.

Banksy’s work by its very nature is ephemeral — property owners often paint over it, or opportunistic looters extract it from the streets and sell it for vast sums, sometimes even chiseling it out of exterior walls. The short shelf-life of Banksy’s work has never been more visible than here in New York. A little less than halfway through his tour of the Big Apple, local graffiti artists and property owners have already altered his first few pieces dramatically with their own marks. See the biggest transformations below. — Photography by William Mansell and Sam Sheffer.


    Manhattan (After)

    The work was completely destroyed soon after when the building owner painted over the work. Others have tagged over it since.



    Perhaps the most iconic of the set was completed on October 2nd at 25th Street between 10th and 11th avenues.


    Westside (After)

    The monotone piece later acquired an explosion of color from local graffiti artists.



    Completed October 3rd at 24th Street and 6th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan. Image courtesy carnagenyc on Flickr.


    Midtown (After)

    There were some tags already on the wall before Banksy marked it, but more have been added since.



    Painted October 4th at Stanwix and Melrose in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Banksy added “The Musical” to three different graffiti tags around the city as part of a series on this day.


    Bushwick (After)

    The piece has now been painted over, but the faded outline of his work is still visible, just barely.


    All City

    Banksy’s first mobile piece of the residency created an idyllic paradise inside of an old box van. It has since disappeared.



    Completed on October 7th at King Street and Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The battered and bruised heart-shaped ballon is patched up enough to stay afloat.


    Brooklyn (After)

    It was later tagged over by local graffiti artists, before someone put a plastic barrier up to prevent further scrawls.



    On October 8th, Banksy painted a satirical quote, deliberately misattributed to Plato, on this door in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, between Provost Street and McGuinness Boulevard.


    Greenpoint (After)

    Soon after, the door was completely removed (presumably for sale) and replaced. Someone then offered their own satirical retort to Banksy’s original work.


    Lower East Side

    This simply titled work was completed October 9th. It is located as its name suggests in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Ludlow Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, is one of Banksy’s most elaborate yet, spreading from the wall onto a car nearby. The accompanying audio comes from “Collateral Murder,” the military footage showing soldiers gunning down civilians in Iraq from a helicopter, first posted online in 2010 by Wikileaks. Looters have since taken the rear left door and the front left mirror. The front door is also unable to close, as The Verge‘s Sam Sheffer notes.


    East New York

    Banksy certainly likes furry animals. The artist’s work comes off of the wall here, as a pile of debris near the base of the post suggests the beaver managed to chomp through the metal, felling the sign. It’s located in East New York, Brooklyn, at Bradford Street and Pitkin Ave. Photo courtesy of carnagenyc on Flickr.


    Meatpacking District

    Titled “Sirens of the Lambs,” the second mobile work drove the streets of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on October 11th. It has since disappeared.


    Central Park

    The next day Banksy let New Yorkers know that they had missed the opportunity to buy an original stenciled work for just $60. The stall set up in Central Park sold eight pieces in total.



    Completed October 12th, this “Concrete Confessional” features a stencil of a priest peering through an actual concrete window cutout, located at East 7th Street and Cooper Square in Manhattan’s East Village.



    On October 14th this Banksy appeared in Woodside, Queens. The quote, “What we do in life echoes in eternity” comes from the 2000 Ridley Scott filmGladiatorImage courtesy Flickr user carnagenyc.



    This tiny but immensely evocative memorial to the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center is arguably Banksy’s most emotionally riveting work yet. The Verge‘s Sam Sheffer photographed this on October 15th, the day it was created. He’s since heard the candles were knocked over and the flower taken.


    All City McDonald's

    Banky’s first trip to the South Bronx on October 15th was an interactive sculpture of an elitist Ronald McDonald getting his shoes shined by a real performer. Bansky’s website explained the sculpture would also be mobile, appearing at McDonald’s restaurants around the entire city, and sure enough, shortly after this photo was taken it was removed by the shoe shiner and another man and placed into a black cargo van and to another McDonald’s, but not before a local politician thanked the performers for visiting.


    Bed Stuy

    Banksy took his usual mix of high-and-low art to Brooklyn on October 17th, with this painting that turns a pre-existing archway into a bridge for his two finely-dressed silhouettes. Despite the title, it’s located in Williamsburg, not Bedford-Stuyvesant.


    West 24th Street

    Banksy created an outdoor art gallery on October 18th, replete with champagne, a bench, and a security guard. It’s located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, near many of the city’s finest (and most expensive) art galleries. Both paintings are collaborations with Brazilian street artist Os Gemeos. Here, one of Banky’s typical riot police figures stands among Gemeos’ characters.


    West 24th Street

    The second of two works unveiled on October 18th under the Highline. It appears the space was rented out for the occasion. The second painting is the opposite of the first, and it is also a collaboration with Brazilian artist Os Gemeos.

Found on: The Verge


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