Legendary British street artist known only by his alias “Banksy” made New York City his home for the month of October. In a series he called “Better Out Than In: An Artists Residency on the Streets of New York”, Banksy unveiled one new piece of art per day, everyday for one month via BanksyNY.com. Generally, each post to the site consisted of a photograph or two of the day’s artwork accompanied by a vague description of where one might find the piece (i.e., Lower East Side).
Frenzied followers and fans of the artist would take to the streets in search of the outdoor art in order to catch a glimpse before haters and competitive graffiti artists had a chance to seek and destroy. Some pieces lasted merely hours before being sprayed over and effectively ruined. In addition to his traditional stenciled spray paintings on buildings, Banksy employed sculpture, installation, and traveling vehicles, even opening a public outdoor art gallery fully fitted with security guards and complimentary refreshments.
As Banksy art went up and down around the neighborhood, we had the chance to get in on the action. Here is a chronological photo recap of Banksy’s NYC residency:
October 9: A crowd gathers to catch a glimpse of the largest scale piece yet in an abandoned lot in the Lower East Side.
October 10: When discovered, residents of the neighborhood covered and began charging onlookers for a photo of this beaver gnawing on a parking sign in East Brooklyn.
October 13: Shot the previous day, this video posted on his site shows genuine Banksy art (worth hundreds of thousands of dollars) with a modest price tag of $60 per piece being ignored in Central Park.
October 14: Quote from BanksyNY.com, “Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from ‘Gladiator’) but you know what? “I’m just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker” as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.”
October 18: This pop-up gallery under the Highline in Chelsea, NY was open all weekend from 11AM-Midnight.
October 20: Found art at its finest. This piece was featured in the Sunday Funnies.
October 22: The Great Sphinx of Giza recreated using concrete rubble in Queens, New York.
October 23: Cancelled! NYPD turns up the heat.
October 24: Club owners post security to protect what was sprayed on their door.
October 25: A pop-up disco in an empty lot in NoHo features a Grim Reaper riding a bumper car to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.
October 28: Banksy’s first footprint in Coney Island.
October 30: A leopard lounges across the street from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
October 31: Banksy’s last hurrah, an inflatable tag commemorating the bubble-style graffiti lettering born in NYC, was taken down by thieves just hours after unveiled. The thieves were immediately arrested.
Food for thought: Father of modern art Paul Cézanne said, “All pictures painted inside, in the studio, will never be as good as those done outside.” What do you think? Art or vandalism? Outstanding or over-hyped? Let us know in the comment section below.