The Lower East Side has historically been home to a large immigrant population specifically those of Eastern European Jews. In the 1960s and 1970s the neighborhood saw a shift–the shape of the neighborhood began to develop a sprawling indie music scene. Central to this neighborhood was that of Ludlow Street. From Pianos to Cake Shop, the street has played host to a vast array of defining music venues with such acts as the Velvet Underground gaining its foot hold on the New York scene in the area.
Map of all the Banksy locations in his residency “Better Out Than In”
We followed Banksy every day of his residency “Better Out Than In” in NYC, so we figured we would put together all of his pieces into one article, along with a map of locations. Without further ado, all 31 days for you to take in, marvel, judge, and do with what you will.
Anonymous London street artist Banksy spent the past month in New York City donating free art to the public.
It isn’t often that you can get the whole of New York City talking about something, but love him or hate him Banksy has done it. For the past month blogs, newspapers, and Instagram feeds alike were giving this London street artist their undivided attention. Everyone wanted to be the first to know about the latest piece and take a picture of it. Graffiti artists based in New York City had a hard time allowing Banksy on their turf, as the first few pieces were “modified” within hours of their reveal. And yet, the richest street artist in the world still draws a huge crowd to all corners of The City just to catch a glimpse of the newest art installation. For this Untapped Cities piece, we’re taking a look back at the past month chasing around this street artist, analyzing what makes Banksy’s stuff so appealing to so many different people and why he’s able to draw such a big interest to street art.
On the final day of his residency in NYC, Banksy tags his name in inflatable bubble letters, which he’s calling “Inflatable Throw-Up,” on a building in Queens, making his final mark on New York City. Although morning rumors in social media (along with an Untapped reader who sent us a photo on the way to his office this morning) pointed to a piece on Greenwich Street downtown, by 10:30am others were saying it was “too sloppy and primitive” to be the elusive Banksy.
The audio guide however says the most about this piece in Queens, which is admittedly not the most aesthetically striking.
At around 6:30pm last night, Banksy shared his piece for Day 30 near Yankee Stadium, seemingly in homage to the Bronx Zoo. While it’s unclear whether it’s a leopard, cheetah or something else, what is clear is that there are messages in the cat’s patterning including a peace sign, “NY”, a shout out to street artist Cope. Gothamist reports that it’s located at Macombs Dam Bridge and Jerome Avenue, and that when visitors first arrived it seemed like it had just been freshly painted. It’s an eloquent piece, aesthetically–probably one of the reasons why Banksy has an allure to such a wide audience.
For Banksy’s third to last day of his residency, he’s taken a painting from Housing Works, added a Nazi officer who’s gazing at an idealized landscape in the Hudson River School style, and re-donated it back to the thrift store with his signature. He’s calling it “The banality of the banality of evil.” This itself is comes from the subtitle of the book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt. Here’s a New York Observer piece from 1999 about the staying power of the phrase.