How's Banksy's New York residency going?
Can the British graffiti artist overcome rival graffiti artists, flat batteries and opportunist thieves?
No stencils or spray cans for this latest addition (above), put online within the last few hours, to Banksy's month-long, self-described 'artist's residency on the streets of New York'. Yet will this stop local graffiti artists from covering it over?
His pledge to place works on the streets of New York throughout October has not gone off without a hitch. As Vanity Fair points out, almost all the works have been defaced and, the likelihood that each work might soon be covered over slightly stymies the viewer's enjoyment. As the web site's writer Josh Duboff puts it, "the knowledge that it's probably minutes away from getting tarnished with a tag or paint job, like a museum artifact doused in Nickelodeon slime, makes it hard to really, fully revel in it."
The New York Daily News reports that his fifth work, a fantastical forest diorama created in the back of a box truck, was plunged into darkness last Saturday night, while on display on the streets of lower Manhattan. "The glowing pastoral scene - complete with a waterfall, moving butterflies, shining sun and vivid bushes and flowers- abruptly lost power after only about half an hour on display," explains the paper.
The NY Daily News also reports that eye witnesses approached the truck's invigilators - two men dressed in blue overalls - to ask whether either one was the elusive graffiti artist.
Both said they weren't and, indeed, neither looks very like the more widely circulated photos said to be of Banksy, yet the snafu illustrates just how hard it is to carry off a high-profile, unsanctioned art installation on the streets of America's most populated city.
Perhaps this explains his post for October 6: a Youtube clip wherein a couple of Arabic-speaking guerillas bring down Dumbo, Disney's cartoon flying elephant, with a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher.
Nevertheless, he returned to the streets of New York on October 7, with this, rather nice bandage-patched, heart-shaped balloon, painted on a wall in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was covered over within a day or so of its creation. So, anyone wanting to take in today's, uncharacteristically low-key work, should get to Greenpoint pretty quickly.