Just over a year ago that infamous and celebrated Bristol street artist Banksy began a self-described ‘residency’ in New York City. The artist created a series of public artworks throughout the five boroughs of NYC. Now there a documentary is to be aired on November 17, following the street artist’s exciting 31-day adventure in New York City.
Beginning on October 1, 2013; the street artist created a new artwork each day, and then left clues as to its whereabouts on his website. This activity also created a particularly obsessive response from art fans that identified themselves as “Banksy hunters” who quickly appeared on the scene.
Some of these ‘Banksy Hunters’ were in fact reporters chasing a story, but most of them were just average New Yorkers who were enthralled by Banksy’s work, and decided to drop everything and spend a month obsessively tracking and documenting his street art interventions. Much of the Documentary is comprised of video and photographs taken by this now infamous bunch of hunters.
Now the HBO documentary; Banksy Does New York will premiere on HBO on November 17th. The documentary has been assembled by director Chris Moukarbel, a New York native. The fact that a documentary regarding public art, and featuring publicly-posted internet footage is being used via a paid for cable network is a comic irony that the artist himself would possibly find amusing.
At a certain point in the documentary, the film cuts to an interview with a Banksy hunter who states that she wishes she could explain to the cops the “cultural currency” of what they’re shoving into the back of their van; as they confiscate a work from the street. It would seem that this art-based social experiment may have enthralled and touched the lives of many diverse New Yorkers, but obviously not New York authorities.