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New Banksys Pop Up as Old Ones Are Freshened Up [UPDATED]

by Hrag Vartanian on October 4, 2013

(images via banksy.co.uk)

(images via banksy.co.uk)

It’s another day, and another Banksy in New York, as the secretive street artist has revealed a new series in three different locations, which his website labels as Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Banksy’s NYC geography hasn’t always been accurate (damn, tourists!) so I’d take these labels with a grain of salt. [UPDATE: We can now confirm that none of the new works are in Bushwick.] The supposed “Midtown” Banksy which popped up two days ago is actually in Chelsea (24th Street and Sixth Avenue), and the “Westside” Banksy is also in Chelsea (25th and Tenth Avenue). The latest series, according to Banksy’s website, is Random graffiti given a Broadway makeover (an ongoing series). It’s clever though, yet again, if I saw this on the street I don’t think it would be very clear that it was distinctively Banksy.

The Chelsea Banksy being "restored" by some man with an American accent at roughly midnight last night. (top photo courtesy Anna Torras, and bottom photos by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic, left 8:15pm Thurs, right 12:30am Fri)

The Chelsea Banksy being “restored” by Perry Levy at roughly midnight last night. (top photo courtesy Anna Torras, and bottom photos by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic, left 8:15pm Thurs, right 12:30am Fri)

But another interesting thing happened last night, as I traveled around to the various Banksy’s already up (or buffed) and discovered something interesting. Not only had two of the three known Banksys been “restored” by the same person (photo evidence posted here suggests as much) but that each work had a group of people hanging around eager to chat, share theories of Banksy’s possible identity, and guesses as to where the next work will pop up. It was a jovial atmosphere and everyone I spoke to on the street wanted to know more.

Only the Banksy on Allen Street (north of Canal) remained “unrestored.” People are calling this mysterious man the “Banksy Restoration Society,” and Animal has more visual evidence of his work yesterday on the Chelsea East Banksy and they identified him as Perry Levy, a “sound designer and mixer from Brooklyn.”

(photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

(photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Location, location, location … want to know where today’s Banksy’s are? This is what we’ve been able to find out from various sources (we’ll update it when we find more info):

  • “Playground Mob” is on the Lower East Side (Delancey and Bowery) CONFIRMED
  • “Occupy” is in Bushwick (Bushwick and Scholes or Broadway and Hewes, we’re trying to confirm which) UNCONFIRMED LOCATION
  • “Dirty Underwear” is in East Williamsburg (208 Bushwick Avenue) CONFIRMED
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  • http://iheartcoolstuff.com/ Saki

    I get what the guy is trying to do. Nothing sucks more than making the trip to photograph a fresh piece (Banksy or not) and see it destroyed, but I really kind of hate what he’s doing. The nature of work on the streets is that it comes and goes, much to our sometimes disappointment. He didn’t put these pieces up in a gallery, and for someone whose been at this for a long time, he obviously knows the short-life-span some pieces have on the street.

    Additionally, in his “restoration,” he’s also admittedly destroying the original character the letters possessed before he went at it with a brush. It just isn’t a Banksy anymore if you’ve gone and covered his soft fades, when you used a brush.

  • The Bronx Art Exchange-NYC

    I still assert this is all part of his plan to amp up the hype. He’s the one who gains from all this drama of cover ups and now some mystery man straight out of the Village People is rstoring his work. This guy in a lot of ways is more of a marketing genius than an artistic one. He’s a good artist, by it pales in comparison to his PR blitz.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      I have to say I’m suspicious about the “restoration” guy since he did a good job with the small text at the bottom … almost like he had the original stencil or something. Hmmmm …

      • The Bronx Art Exchange-NYC

        Seriously! At least you see it. It’s not enough for him to just mark a wall with his art, at best, he would got some media attention for a day or so, but now we have all this drama on covering it up and restoring it– and it has the entire NY art world constantly, daily, talking about. I cannot escape Banksy on Instagram, bitch is killing me softly with everyone posting about it! His work as we speak is sky rocketing in value. It’s all contrived, he understands how to use social media to take his work to the next level. This is the original blog posting I wrote; http://www.baxnyc.com/2013/10/02/who-would-cover-up-an-orginal-banksy/

  • lt@pixelsPainting.com

    there are no rules in the street

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