If you haven’t yet heard about (or seen) Banksy’s latest work in New York City, let me be the first to tell you that the elusive artist hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms. Banksy is one of the most notorious and revered street artists; his work has appeared in cities all over the world, and the political nature of his signature style has placed him at the forefront of controversy on multiple occasions. Despite all of this, so far during his month-long NYC “residency,” much of his work has been vandalized or completely covered over.
Public art being vandalized by other street artists? Banksy certainly knows how to spark controversy, and while he’s claimed in interviews to have no involvement with the defacement, the whole thing kind of reads like a greater piece of social commentary. Regardless, it’s really exciting to have the artist’s work popping up all over New York City, which you can expect to continue throughout the rest of October.
The public art exhibition is part of Banksy’s “Better Out Than In” project, an artist residency that takes place on the streets of New York. According to Tracy Connor of NBC News, “New Yorkers are treating the ‘residency’ — which also includes a YouTube takeoff on Syrian rebel videos and a souped-up delivery truck with a trompe l’oeil paradise inside — as a sort of scavenger hunt…Fans check Banksy’s website each day for a photo of his newest work, accompanied by the vaguest of geographical descriptions, and then try to find and Instagram it before it’s ruined.”
So far, Banksy’s work has been spotted in Manhattan, the Westside, Midtown, various parts of Brooklyn, and the Lower East Side. Some of these artworks have remained intact, but others haven’t been quite as lucky. Visit the “Better Out Than In” website to view Banksy’s New York street exhibition and to find the artwork locations. Banksy will continue to create art throughout the rest of the month, so keep a lookout for his controversial, comedic work in your neighborhood!