While in NYC for last weekend’s CMJ Music Marathon, I did my best to cross paths with Banksy. The elusive artist is in town for a month-long “street residency,” and his open-air exhibitions, “Better Out Than In,” are catching a lot of buzz (and some flak from the mayor’s office).
Alas, I won’t soon be quitting my day job to become a detective. I didn’t find him. I do like Banksy’s work, though, which is stenciled onto public and private spaces, and usually contains provocative social commentary. I caught this installation hanging under the High Line at West 24th Street. What an interesting deal this would have been to negotiate.
Here’s the thing, Banksy’s website listed the limited viewing hours (and gave a heads up that there would be “a bench, some carpet and complimentary refreshments”). The works were hanging neatly by chains and secured with fencing during non-viewing hours. When I arrived for the Sunday 11 AM opening, there was also a full complement of private security on hand, and the gallery around the corner, perhaps coincidentally, had Banksy’s work displayed in the window. This was no backjump job. Continue reading