3.23.2005

Banksy does NYC


You gotta give the guy some credit. Never one for being tame or timid about his work, Banksy, world-renowned stencil artist and street-art extraordinaire did something that many artists have only wished that they could do. In fact, he didn't do it just once, but FOUR times. He went up to four of New York's most well-known art museums and quietly placed a piece of his own artwork up on the walls and abruptly left.

The Wooster Collective, a great site for graffiti and street art, has pics of Banksy, in disguise, doing the rare deeds, along with close-ups of the artwork that he put up. You can check it all out HERE.

His work was taken down at The Metropolitan Museum of Art early Sunday morning, and lasted for three days at The Museum of Modern Art before being noticed and taken down. As for his pieces of art at The Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Natural History, well... they are still up.

I love this. For one thing, his work is very good. If he, indeed, painted these pieces in the style of the classics, then I am certainly impressed. (Actually, after looking at them closely, I think the "older" pieces are collages.) Another thing, I love it when artists shake up the art-world machine. With Banksy's stunt, there's this sort of energy and originality that is largely missing in the contemporary scene right now. This one lone guy is definitely trying to make a statement, and this statement is louder than what many artists out there can lay claim to. This is guts and balls all rolled up into one and I really dig it.

What is his statement? Well, on Wooster, he says:

"This historic occasion has less to do with finally being embraced by the fine art establishment and is more about the judicious use of a fake beard and some high strength glue." Banksy continues -"They're good enough to be in there, so I don't see why I should wait."

That's enough for me.

11 comments:

  1. I like the way you incopperate art in you news

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  2. thanks for posting that, ward. given the horrifying political climate we live in, art activism might just be our only hope. i'm glad to see that it's getting good press, too.

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  3. Art can be a great catalyst for change, sure, but I think that this is something more. It is subverting this sort of pretentious and exclusionary climate that is so pervasive these days--not just for artists but for all of us. To walk into a place like an art museum, a place which is meant to celebrate artistic achievement, and boldly and simply insert yourself into the exhibit is just bold--and beautiful.

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  4. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The world of art can be so very stodgy and it's delicious to see it get shaken up by such a simple act.

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  5. Hey, this has inspired me to stick up on of my peices in some musuem. Maybe "Octipus Pimp on the Moon."

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  6. This story is just an absolute hoot! I have to agree with others that the art world needs a big shake-up. And yes his work is pretty darn good, in fact some (most?) of it is better than that of the 2nd tier masters it was hanging next to. Some pretty lax security in these galleries, so there's hope for all of us.

    Detlef
    http://www.detlefjumpertz.com

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  7. The story has just been reported on the BBC News Website:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4382245.stm

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  8. I love this guy, and I love what he does. *however* my girlfriend works at the brooklyn museum, and the piece he hung there was up for MAYBE and hour before they took it down. Give the guy credit, but give the museums some too ... or darn it, maybe I should just let the guy spin all he can ... forget what you just read! His artwork is still on display at the brooklyn museum (at least in our minds, if not in reality).

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  9. 'Art' work - it can hardly be called art work. This type of criminal damage should be dealt with by the police. It is interesting to note that good old Banksy cannot come clean and tell us who he is.

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  10. Well, considering that what Banksy is doing would not be considered a "criminal act," save maybe for "disturbing the peace," it's not really worthy of jailtime. He's a prankster just trying to make a statement. Plus, he's proving that you can do things like this and get plenty of exposure.

    And, come on--he's a graffiti/street artist. He'd be stupid for exposing who he is. There's no need for him to come clean here. He's known only as Banksy and that's what he'll be known as until he dies. These guys will never expose their true identity because that's the nature of the graffiti world. Plus, just because he's got a nom de plume doesn't mean he's trying to hide anything. It's just an alternate identity.

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