In New York October has been all about Banksy. The mysterious street artist from Bristol staged a month-long residency in the city entitled ‘Better Out than In’, which has seen him reveal a new work every day of the month. But to say his art has been met with a mixed response would be an understatement.
Despite being condemned by Mayor Bloomberg and reportedly targeted by the NYPD it is actually aggrieved graffiti artists and property owners that have been Banksy’s biggest headaches. The result has seen many examples of his work, valued at around £20,000 each, be defaced, cleaned off or removed for sale within hours of them being revealed.
On the plus side many of the artworks have also drawn big crowds to areas of the city not often associated with the typical tourist trail and significantly raised the artist’s profile in the US.
Among many examples of street art his stand out New York work have been installation pieces. These included an abattoir truck circling the Meat Packing District containing stuffed toy animals and a Grim Reaper wildly riding a dodgem car to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of his residency came earlier in the month when Banksy set up a stall selling genuine, signed canvases of his work for $60 each. Throughout the day only five people actually bought pictures, including one man who bought four pictures to help decorate his new apartment. For just $240 he managed to walk away with over $80,000 worth of art.
Find out more about Banksy’s New York residency here: http://www.banksyny.com/