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(via banksy.co.uk)

Banksy’s latest stencil reimagines an anonymous arch on a New York street into a Japanese bridge traversed by ladies and adjacent to a bonsai. It is a clever reinvention of an everyday object into something new, which street art does best.

If this work was from a no-name artist, I think we’d all take a look, smile and walk by, but since it is by Banksy, then … well, let’s wait and see …

The obvious allusion is to the work of African-American artist Kara Walker but without the subtext of American history. While Banksy’s official Instagram account suggests the work is in Brooklyn Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, we do not have confirmation on the location yet. (Update, 11:37am: We have received unverified word that the piece is at Graham Avenue & Cook Street in East Williamsburg.)

A print by Edo period artist Hokusai (via notjustnat.blogspot.com)

Also, Banksy seems amused that the NYPD is out to get him.

Update 2, 1:50pm EDT: A tagger was apparently knocked out at the scene, per Instagram and Animal NY. The latter source also has images of the impromptu restoration effort undertaken by bystanders post-vandalism.

Update 3, 2:36pm: And here’s a video, via Instagram, of the restoration:

Update 4, 4:00pm EDT: I visited the location of the newest Banksy, which is most definitely in Williamsburg and blocks away from any semblance of Bedford Stuyvesant. The work had been restored (rather well, though not perfectly) and as you can tell from the pictures, it is in good shape.

A view of the Banksy at the corner of Graham Avenue and Cook Street (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

The building’s owner told the building supervisor, Feliciano Perez, to stand guard for future vandals. I asked Perez a few questions about his job protecting the latest Banksy.

Building supervisor Feliciano Perez being interviewed by a reporter as he stands guard by the Banksy.

Hrag Vartanian: Are you here to make sure there is no graffiti?
Feliciano Perez: Yes, someone is going to come and put a cover to protect that thing.

HV: Why does the building owner want to protect it?
FP: He says, everyone says that he is very famous the guy who did that and he’s going to protect it.

HV: What do you think about protecting graffiti on a wall?
FP: I think it’s good that the guy is very famous and I think it’s fine.

HV: Has there been more than one person who has tried to come and tag it?
FP: No, only that one guy who tried to.

HV: Was he arrested?
FP: No, the police never come. I don’t know if someone called them.

The Graham Avenue Banksy in context (click to enlarge)

A detail of the Graham Avenue Banksy

A detail of the Graham Avenue Banksy

Update 5, 4:28pm EST: Last night, I visited the Tribeca Banksy to discover that it has in fact become a full-on memorial to 9/11:

People visiting the Tribeca Banksy late last night at approximately 11:30pm EDT (All photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

And now we learn that the Tribeca Banksy has been vandalized by SixCentz, which is a hip hop website that described itself on its website as “creating social awareness, through the elements of hip-hop.” is protesting the destruction of 5Pointz and placed a paper on the plexiglass covering the work that reads, “Hate Banksy, Save 5Pointz, Love SixCentz”:

A screenshot of the video posted by SixCentzTV, the YouTube channel of SixCentz.

We reached out to SixCentz for comment on the matter and have yet to hear back.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

2 replies on “Banksy Goes Japonaiserie in Brooklyn, Tribeca Banksy Vandalized [UPDATE 5]”

  1. I used to work in a basement type shop that had arched floor level windows like that. I’m not sure what all the hype is about Banksy but the use of the architecture is very clever. So witty and creative.

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