Has it really been almost two months with no word from Banksy?! Well, he’s either making headlines or is nowhere near them, and for the past few days, he seems to be doing the former.
The most famous unknown street artist in the world is visiting the Big Apple again, where he’s leaving marks of all sorts. It all began with a simple rat, moving onto a strong political statement, and (for now) finishing with a satirical piece. Typical Banksy, huh?
Let’s take a look at what our favorite newsman did so far in New York, as the artist has finally confirmed (via his Instagram) that all the pieces are indeed his.
It all began with Banksy’s first street work in New York since 2013, created on March 14. One of his trademark rats found themselves on the face of a clock on the facade of a former bank.
Caught mid-run, the rat seems to be running around the clock like a hamster would.
The piece can be found on the corner of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, and as the building is slated for demolition, perhaps we can expect the whole piece of wall that contains the clock magically removed some time soon.
The mural from March 15th that caught most attention so far, however, is the one Banksy created together with fellow street artist Borf on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery.
The work protests the imprisonment of Zehra Doğan, a Turkish-Kurdish artist and journalist accused by the Turkish government of ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the Kurdish resistance movement. Doğan was also imprisoned and sentenced to two years, nine months and 22 days, in part because of a painting depicting the destroyed Nusaybin, a mostly Kurdish city on the border of Syria and Turkey, with Turkish flags flying above.
In a statement to the New York Times, Banksy explained:
I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence.
His artwork mostly consists of hash marks standing for prison bars and counting the number of days Doğan has already spent behind them. An image of her appears peeking out of one of the “cells”, accompanied by the “Free Zehra Doğan” in the corner.
Last, but we kinda hope not least, is a couple of murals in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Although they were created on March 18th, Banksy has only officially confirmed they were his own doing a day later.
On a brighter note than his previous work, but much more descriptive than the first, the first mural is a commentary on capitalism, depicting a man in a suit wearing a protective helmet and a briefcase, threatening a group of people (consisting mostly of children, old people and women) with a rising red line graph.
Fairly close to this piece, a smaller mural is located as well, featuring a seal balancing a ball on its nose - the ball being the place where a sign of the nearby business used to hang - as a clear reference to gentrification.
The last time the Big Apple went crazy for Banksy was five years ago, during his now famous residency which had street art fans hunt his artworks all over the city every day. Can we expect more from the Brit? Let’s wait and see!
All images via Banksy's Instagram.