First, I need to apologize and explain the long silence. In fact, a very long one – last time I posted anything I was almost on the plane to Barcelona. The “holiday in Spain” was -as one can expect – colourful, surprising, sunny, full of art and good food. About that – maybe some other time. And after that I jumped straight into work – there are two month in the year in which the work is truly intense for me – these two months have just finished with a successful closing of the theatre festival I work at.
Therefore, it is time to come back.
And how to come back better than with a bang. And what can be a bigger bang in the field of street art than (probably) the most notorious and recognizable (and this also proved not to be enturely true – why I will explain later) street artists there is – Banksy.
So, the artist decided to go on a residency and he chose a city which many also associate with street art and illegal graffiti – New York. The residence lasted over the entire month of October – so it is drawing to its conclusion just now. Before going to NY the artist contacted a Village Voice journalist through his agent and announced he “would turn the citylife into an enormous treasure hunt” with his works and performances which were to appear every day. He went on to explain his reasons for the entire action – or, oh well, let’s call it reasons:”There is absolutely no reason for doing this show at all. I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There’s no gallery show or book or film. It’s pointless. Which hopefully means something.” You can find the entire material -interview on the Village Voice’s website – it’s here. As a motto for the entire action Banksy chose a quote from Paula Cézanne: All pictures painted inside, in the studio, will never be as good as those done outside. And starting from this point, Banksy entitled the whole action “Better Out Than In”.
The title of the first work he debuted of on October 1st was The Street Is in Play. Most commonly he uses his trademark stencil,s but he also went on to create some performances – for instance, selling his original, signed pieces at the busy Central Park – funny story is that few people even paid attention to an old gentleman selling the black and white works – now they might as well be millionaires. So how about Banksy being recognizable? You would think the works would sell but it turns out completely different. Another Banksy’s prank on the public and the global, consumer society.
You can follow the activities on the artist’s website as well as Instagram (whatever that is…). Here is a selection of his works, but it is worth to take a minute to see the entire collection on the website. An interesting option can be listening to “audiobook” which is provided under some posts – we are informed that “To enhance your enjoyment of the exhibits an audio guide is provided via cell phone. ” and an instruction for this service follows.
Or maybe, if by any chance you are in New York just now or will be in a short time – we can be sure how long the pieces will last, taking into consideration that one of them was already sold by a clever garage owner, and that basically the NY police is hunting the artist, which was the reason one day went without the work being announced – you can set out on a treasure hunt. This time this will be treasures of street art.
In the meantime, though, a selection of some works below.