Banksy New York

Good-bye Banksy, We Will Miss You -New York City

new-balloon-tshirtIn an era of repurposed movies and sequels and high priced Broadway fare, it is refreshing to find that today’s highest regarded art is a digital flick of Gummy Bears voicing political opinions. Shakespeare finally has a 21st century contemporary and he is both British and has a single name —Banksy.  He, we assume he is a man, is the British graffiti artist turned painter-filmmaker.

His now famous stenciled street works are complimented by pranks with messages “I want out” in zoos, well-placed subverted artworks in the Met and MoMA, or his bold graffti on the Israeli West Bank barrier. He is the “Anonymous” of the modern art world and  ‘Revolution is the only solution’ seems to be “Mr.” Banksy’s motto. His works might as well mean ‘There are no more lollipops here’. I’ll leave it up to you.


New York City is his residency for the month of October and as in other cities, he has perplexed many and it is nothing short of poetic. You can track it here

Clairvoyant, frivolous and dry all at once. His art is like riding a bike on the dusty summer streets with nothing in your pockets. The city is seemingly stiff and unimpressed. But I think Banksy is the best thing that happened to NYC since the hot dog. Rebellion is constantly on his mind as he is planting seeds in the concrete cracks of capitalism. He speaks of love, he speaks for the unheard or he just speaks!


His October 23 multidimensional piece (both literately and metaphorically) of Central Park art stall selling his paintings devaluated is a gesture unprecedented in the art world. Putting a price tag to art is against art itself? His ‘Sirens of the lambs’, the heart shaped balloon covered in band-aids, the garden track, ‘at the door of the club’ are all pushing art to new heights. The list is long. An artist on the run, working in a grey area, evading the police. Everyone, at least a little bit, wants to be in his shoes, live a mystery life of creativity and trills. A life well lived.


The world is spinning but Banksy is not. He is hard at work proving my long-lived suspicion that there is no recipe to life. I don’t know if I am too young or too old to speculate. But! Banksy does not feel like a single person to me. It feels like a group behind a common goal. Banksy is a religion of poetic distractions from the routine world. A religion that makes you think, makes you get out of your comfort zone, makes you unplug from the system at least for a few minutes. NYC appreciates those few minutes. There is no recipe. Keep it frosty Banksy. Nice shoes!  Thanks for spending a month in old New York!

— Milen Vasilev

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