Banksy Takes New York


Friday, November 08, 2013

The British street artist Banksy has been stenciling and installing subversive street art for two decades, but to much greater effect than any of his contemporaries. After spray-painting a ladder onto Israel’s barrier with the West Bank, placing hooded Guantanamo Bay prisoners on a ride at Disneyland, and winning an Oscar nomination for Exit Through the Gift Shop, he has solidified his status as an art world superstar.

Banksy had been laying low the last couple of years, but all that changed last month when he announced Better Out Than In, a month-long residency on the streets of New York. The artist planned to install one work on a random, undisclosed city street for every day in October.

The pieces varied from hastily stenciled riffs on graffiti, to lovingly painted paeans to rebellion, to trucks that drove around the city packed with subversive and ironic sculpture. One thing all the pieces shared: hype. “It wasn’t an event of art,” New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz tells Kurt Andersen. “I would call it an event of promotion.”

“Banksy is basically a photo-realist who takes an artist’s style and brings it to the street,” Saltz explains. “I give him a lot of credit for doing that.” Still, he wouldn’t call Banksy a great artist — just a really successful one that gets people talking about art. “When somebody provides a local campfire for everyone to gather around and throw their two cents in, I’m for that,” he says. “The Banksy itself was irrelevant.”


Slideshow: Banksy’s New York Residency

Banksy, Untitled, 2013. Location: Midtown.
Untitled, 2013. Location: Midtown.
Banksy, Untitled, 2013. Location: South Bronx.
Untitled, 2013. Location: South Bronx.
Banksy, The Sirens of the Lambs, 2013
The Sirens of the Lambs, 2013.

This delivery truck full of stuffed animals toured New York’s meatpacking district for two weeks.

Banksy, The banality of the banality of evil, 2013
The banality of the banality of evil, 2013

Banksy painted a Nazi onto this landscape piece found at a thrift store and then donated the new work back to the thrift store. It was auctioned off for $615,000.

On October 13, Banksy set up a nondescript stall in Central Park where a salesman sold the artist’s original canvases for $60 (the customers were not aware they were buying pieces by Banksy).

On October 13, Banksy set up a nondescript stall in Central Park where a salesman sold the artist’s original canvases for $60 (the customers were not aware they were buying pieces by Banksy). The stall has since been taken down.

    Music Playlist
  • Gimme A Can Of Spray Paint
    Artist: Airship
    Label: Noon Music


Jerry Saltz

Produced by:

Sean Rameswaram

Comments [6]

Karen Simon from Berlin

Banksy left amazing art pieces ( if they have not been removed till now. . . )
here are some more shots of his work:
i hope you like it as much as i do !?
karen x

Nov. 26 2013 03:52 PM
sandy from nyack, ny

banksy's social commentary makes him one of the more important artists working today.
this guy is a completely snobbish, outdated, art establishment ass.

even if you dont like banksy's work, the dismissiveness and snideness of this interview just shows that this jerk should have retired years ago. people like him are the reason the established 'art world' has the reputation it does.

Nov. 18 2013 09:41 PM
Jess Level from Seattle

Banksy... It been done.
Are we going to see
something mind blowing
from the master...
A something new?

See new paintings

Nov. 14 2013 10:53 AM
william from nyc

i bet you this guy cant draw a stick figure, yet his opinion matters. utter garbage that's falling out of his mouth. Promotion is one thing, but Banksy preforms anonymously he takes no personal claim to his fame, hes GIVING HIS ART TO THE PEOPLE, and this guy "isn't buying it" because he believes if its not in a gallery than it shouldn't be taken seriously. Screw him, it's always the talentless snobs that want to claim what art is, the people who aren't capable of producing anything worth gazing at, but they want to be associated with it, this guy is getting owned by Banksy, because he wasn't on the guest list, you can hear it in his voice, hes mad he wasn't VIP to Better OUT than IN... do you not get what that means, BETTER OUT, away from the elitist snobs, a regular graffiti artist, AND YES thats what he is BEFORE ANYTHING, can create more hype then your boring gallery scenes which exclude everyone. THIS is TRUE ART, FOR THE PEOPLE, AND IT HASNT BEEN THIS REAL FOR CENTURIES! he has NO IDEA who and what hes talking about

Nov. 10 2013 08:20 PM
william from nyc

im not even going to listen to this garbage review, WNYC is "falling off", im about to "dislike" there fb page to :P

Nov. 10 2013 07:59 PM
Judith Cressy from NYC

Why have such a grumpy reviewer talk about Banksy's work? Listening to his commentary, you learn absolutely nothing about what you see when you pass by a Banksy work on the street. What an old fart. (I'm 62 and he sounds like an old fart to me.) Banksy's work makes me joyous. He is our Duchamp. Since when does art have anything to do with how long it takes to make? Banksy has a way of looking at what is in front of all of us that makes us look at it too. I, for one, am glad that DADA lives.

Nov. 09 2013 04:34 PM

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