‘People ask why I want to have an exhibition in the streets, but have you been to an art gallery recently? They’re full.’ Banksy
This statement from Banksy particularly holds true when you are in a new city and travelling on a packed schedule. You can (as I mentioned before) only see so much art when it just starts to go over your head.
I booked my trip for NYC in September and low and behold it was like the universe aligned in October. I heard that Bansky had just started a month long residency in NYC where he would post daily pictures of his latest street art in various neighbourhoods around NYC.
Before I left for NYC, I wrote down all of the locations that held his art. On one of my last days in NYC, I went on my hunt!
It was neat planning my route for the day and going into neighbourhoods that I didn’t expect to check out. Bumping into locals as I flipped my map up and down on street corners and tried to make sense of where Banksy left his mark. Showing up at a location looking in alleys, on street corners, asking random strangers ‘where could I find a stencil of a dog urinating?’ who must have thought I had some kind of mental health issue. It was fun and as Banksy’s manifesto, he got me outside looking at gritty NYC streets and feeling the energy in its natural milieu.
Unfortunately a lot of pieces were taken down. Typically just as I was about to give up – I did manage to find a few. It was cool – when I did find the ‘This is my New York accent’ piece I bumped into a guy, a New Yorker who proceeded to tell me his Bansky’s art scavenger hunt story.
After he pointed me in the direction of a gallery that was housing Banksy and Mr. Brainwashed art that was selling for thousands of dollars.
That day was one of my most favourite moments in NYC. I’ve kept it in my memory bank to remind myself of my adventurous spirit, street art that encouraged me to live a little and to really get stuck into NYC culture at a street level.