Bye bye, Banksy
Banksy’s month-long stay in New York City came to an appropriately cheeky end on Thursday.
The elusive street artist left his name in bubble letters above the tags of several local graffiti artists on a building in Queens, off the Long Island Expressway. The letters look spray-painted, the same as the tags below it, but were actually inflated balloons.
“I’d like to say we’re going out on a high note,” a recording on Banksy’s website said.
The balloons were taken down within hours.
The full recorded message on the final post on his “Better Out Than In” website rhapsodized about the value of art being out in the open. ”Outside is where art should live, amongst us,” the recording said. “Don’t we want to live in a world made of art? Not just decorated by it.”
While many New Yorkers flocked to see each of his installations, local graffiti artists seemed less enamored of the Brit’s work.
Most, if not all, of Banksy’s pieces around the city were painted over or otherwise damaged. His miniature Twin Towers in TriBeCa, which were quickly covered with plexiglass, have even been scrawled over.
One piece will remain, however: a painting that Banksy hijacked from Housing Works in Chelsea. The artist painted a Nazi soldier into the painting, and re-gifted it to the charitable group, which put it up for auction. The Banksy-modified painting sold for $615,000.
Several commenters on Banksy’s Instagram noted they were pleased the profits from this piece were going to a good cause: Housing Works provides housing and health services for homeless New Yorkers living with AIDS.
On one of his last Instagram posts, Banksy thanked New Yorkers for their “patience” and said “it’s been fun.”
“Save 5pointz. Bye,” he added.
Click on the map below to see all of the Banksy artwork locations in the city.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat