Banksy Ends New York City Residency

Parting is such strange sorrow. Banksy ended his month-long stint in New York City today, tagging his name in inflatable letters on the side of a building by the Long Island Expressway. Three people tried to take the letters soon after they were up; and police dutifully arrested the individuals and confiscated the balloons, which were grayish in color and spelled “BANKSY!”

Thus ends the mysterious street artist’s one-month residency in New York City, during which he unveiled a different piece of art every day somewhere in the city. Highlights included: An art stand outside of Grand Central Park, where he sold Banksy originals for $60 (his work often sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars); a fiberglass model of a pompous-looking Ronald McDonald having its shoes shined by a “real live boy;” and a miniature garden set up in the back of a delivery truck. On October 29th, he purchased a bland painting of a lake from a thrift store in Manhattan, added in a Nazi officer staring at the lake, and sold it back to the thrift store. The modified painting later sold for $615,000.

Another piece surfaced today on Greenwich St., depicting a silhouetted businessman drawing the ups and downs of the stock market in red ink. While the style of the piece is classic Banksy, images of each day’s artwork were posted on the official Banksy website, and this one wasn’t there. Then again, Banksy always likes to keep things somewhat vague. As Bustle reported:

Banksy, who has somehow managed to keep his identity a mystery for the entirety of his twenty-year career, is known for making art that operates on something of a meta, self-referential level, so the whole “art cancellation” could be a hoax. Similarly, his Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop purports to focus on the life of fellow street artist Mr. Brainwash, but there’s debate over whether the documentary is real or staged, and whether Mr. Brainwash even exists or is simply a creation of Banksy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the NYPD to capture Banksy at all costs after the artist announced he’d be spending the month in the city, but that effort seems, by all counts, to have failed. Someone apparently attempted to place a tracking device on the traveling garden truck; Banksy later posted a picture of the device on his website and noted that whoever placed it there is “now following a car service in Queens.”

Banksy also posted "the official Banksy New York residency souvenir T shirt" on his site; however, it's just an image for fans to print out and put on a shirt themselves.