Want to See Banksy? WELL, YOU BETTER PAY UP!

So New York has gone Banksy crazy. That’s great. Why? Because it allows tourists to take photos of his work that’s scattered on our city’s walls – and use them for awesome screen-savers and updated Facebook profile pics. It makes them happy. It makes Banksy happy. But most of all, it makes me happy. Because isn’t that what art is for?

But much like art you would see at a museum, Banksy’s art needs some professional curators. Without professional curators, we wouldn’t be sure that we are seeing is professional art instead of all the other street art crap that we see on a daily basis. That’s why I applaud a group of art savvy Brooklyn street entrepreneurs for charging $20 a pop to take photos of the latest Banksy art – a beaver – stenciled in their neighborhood.

“I’m trying to get some bread,” said the curator charging for a peek at Banksy. “This is my neighborhood. If you wanna take a picture, it’s gonna cost something.”

Why is this man so angry? Doesn’t realize that the influx of hipsters migrating to see the Banksy art are actually HELPING his neighborhood by spending money at his local bodega?

This wasn’t the only incident. According to the NY Post:


“Later in the day, a man who called himself a Banksy “fan” stopped by with a hammer and chisel and attempted to remove the art from the wall.”


Welcome to New York, Banksy!

Banksy has always been surrounded by controversy. Here are my 5 FAVORITE BANKSY CONTROVERSIES:

  • Earlier this year, two spray-paint Banksy murals vanished from a North London wall and later made an appearance at a Miami auction house. Who really owns the streets, huh? (Probably the city council.)
  • In 2004, Banksy gave the British pound a makeover by replacing the picture of the Queen on several £10 notes with an image of the late Princess Diana. The bills were distributed at a London carnival and some eager recipients tried to use them in local shops.
  • When Paris Hilton released her debut album in 2006, Banksy replaced real editions of the CD with 500 doctored copies – featuring the heiress either topless or with the head of her pet dog. Songs were remixed by Danger Mouse, featuring such titles as: “What Am I For?”
  • Banksy set his sights on Disneyland. Visitors who waited for the park’s Big Thunder Mountain ride were treated by a figure of a detainee from Guantanamo Bay; dressed in an orange prison suit and wearing a black hood over its head.
  • Banksy secretly hung his own altered versions of classic paintings at New York’s MoMA and Brooklyn Museum. Ironically, at the British Museum, Banksy’s cave painting of a hunter pushing a shopping cart was later added to the museum’s permanent collection.
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