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Banksy’s New Piece Is Waiting at a Strip Club for Love [UPDATED]

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Today’s Banksy is almost too easy to find. The image already reveals that it is placed on the side of the Hustler Club on Manhattan’s West Side, which is located on Twelfth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets at the corner of 51st Street.

A lonely man in a suit (is that a tuxedo?) leans against a column of the douchebag-friendly strip club with a wilting bouquet of red flowers for what we assume is love that will never arrive — or at least not in a strip club.

My prediction is that this gate will be gone in 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …

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Update, 12:40pm EDT: The crowd at the scene of the Huster Banksy is intense, with more professional photojournalists than ever before — I’m assuming the location of this work is partly to blame for the media overload as many media outlets are headquartered in the area:

The Hustler Banksy with the crowds. (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
The Hustler Banksy with the crowds. (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The work itself is crowded by the dozens of gawkers, photographers, passersby, and art fans eager to catch a glimpse.

A guard stood by the piece, and when I asked him, “Do you work for the club?” “I work for one of the owners,” he responded.

The crowd at the Hustler Banksy (photo by the author for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)
The crowd at the Hustler Banksy (photo by the author for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)
The Hustler Banksy (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
The Hustler Banksy (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

I interviewed two people in the crowd to get an idea of who had traveled to see the work.

One, a ground teenager from Uptown who only identified himself as “Chris,” explained this was the second Banksy he has seen. “I was on my Instagram and I saw that he had posted up a new one,” he explained. He considers himself a fan and I asked him what he thought of this particular Banksy. “It’s artistic. The guy looks stood up, like someone just stood him up. It’s very artistic, I like it,” he said.

Another woman, Lindsay Timmington of Sunnyside, Queens, said she had been to every one except for a few in Brooklyn and Staten Island. I asked her what brought her to the Hustler Club. “He’s my favorite artist. I lived in London for a year and I was introduced to him there, and … his work I think is just incredible.” She has been taking time out of her day to visit each piece after it is announced, and she jokes “it’s like a full-time job.”

“This is one of my favorites, by far, because of the location … definitely one of my favorites,” she said. “Honestly, I love the art, for art’s sake, but the social reaction is really fascinating and to watch the way people react to the pieces and the conversations that come up, the extortion, it’s fascinating to me that a piece of art can cause such a stir, and that’s really cool in a society that doesn’t focus so much on art. I love that.”

@godVeveryone has pointed out that the Banksy piece may be a reference to Stage Door Johnny, which, according to the Websters Dictionary means, “a man who frequents a theater for the purpose of courting an actress or chorus girl,” which seems accurate.

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