The latest Banksy works in New York are proving a hit with the public, as well as ants? Yesterday he set up two paintings on canvas under a Chelsea overpass. One a solidarity painting for Jailed punk-artists Pussy Riot the other soldiers surrounding a woman wearing a hijab. The artist stated on his website, “Are you the sort of person who enjoys going to art galleries but wished they had more gravel in them? Then this temporary exhibition space is for you. Housing just two paintings but also featuring a bench, some carpet and complimentary refreshments. Open Saturday through Sunday 11am til midnight”. The complementary refreshments consisted of non alcoholic wine the colour of urine. The gravel covered floor has also attracted ants, especially under the sugary sticky drinks dispenser.
Banksy also produced a video depicting an ant nest creating a sand mound which then becomes a woman’s vagina, a Daliesque surreal reference, complete with crawling ants. (watch video). His latest work executed today shows a boy with a sledge hammer about to bash a sprinkler system in a reference to a funfair strength tester. It appeared on the upper westside in an undisclosed location.
Like any other genre, urban art has a history and founding fathers. Nowadays, still, the main figure of the movement is undeniably the mysterious stencil artist Banksy who gained a widely shared recognition for his extraordinary sharp and accurate humour. He is also the first artist to have brought street art into art galleries and museums.
No artist needs de-deification more than Banksy. Trite visual puns might have once made do on street corners that only attract passing glances, but Banksy has long languished as an international star. His street corners attract the same chin stroking audiences as the hippest galleries. Stripped of street art posturing, Banksy’s art is as transient and wet as undergraduate radicalism. Disney as shorthand for America is not only staid, but also annoyingly infantile. Looking at Banksy’s work is akin to discovering that some tyke has eaten the middle out of all your onions.
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