Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Banksy in Brooklyn

By now I'm sure you've seen, read, or heard about Banksy's latest stunt - having his original pieces sold by a street vendor on a busy New York sidewalk. While it is no doubt interesting, it does say a lot about art and art culture (ie purchasing for the 'name' versus the 'work'). Something I've found interesting is the reception that some of his more recent pieces displayed throughout New York is getting. My favorite, no doubt, is copied below:

A stencil in East New York of a beaver seemingly perched on a fallen “No Parking” sign elicited the most entrepreneurial responses. Two men from the Brooklyn neighborhood covered it up with cardboard and charged $20 to anyone who wanted to take a photograph. In a video posted to YouTube on Thursday, one of the men explained, “Y’all wouldn’t come here, if this wasn’t here,” adding, “If you wanna take a picture, it’s gonna cost something.” 
Inspired, perhaps, by shutdown-happy Republicans in Congress, he threatened to destroy the artwork if he didn’t get his way: “I could break this and go and keep doing what I’ve been doing all day,” he said, “but before we ruin it, we’d rather leave it so y’all can come and take a picture.”
Read more about Banksy's NY stop over at the NY Times.