Banksy Does New York (2014) Movie Script

Probably some illegal shit
going on here...
- Yeah.
- Yo, dude, we're gonna get...
This project's gonna get busted.
- People over here.
- Get the net out of there.
Yo, you want some help?
- When I get on the truck...
- Yeah. Yeah.
Yo, throw it here.
I got it.
Yo. Yo.
Yo. the cops are here.
Move out the way so I can go!
Yo. yo!
Yo! yo! Yo!
Where you going?
What are you doing?
Move! Move!
- It's mine.
- It's not yours.
Let go. Let go.
One last time, you need to let go.
Everybody, let go.
Keep in the dark
to stay out of the light
keep in the dark
to stay out of the light
keep in the dark
to stay out of the light
just hang in the sunshine
la, ah-ah-ah
la, ah, ah, ah-ah-ah
la, ah, ah, ah-ah-ah
la, ah, ah, ah-ah-ah
I'd appreciate if you guys
would back this up.
- Please back up, okay?
- Okay.
Move back!
It was really crazy.
It almost seemed like a scene
out of a movie.
Pleading with the police
to take it out or put it back up.
Turn off your light,
let's step into the dark
sleep away like shining into her
save your face and get behind...
Let's move back.
Move back. Move back.
Into the earth
- He stole it.
- Yeah.
Yo, don't touch me.
What are we doing?
Where am I going?
Let's start off with
a little tutorial on banksy.
Just who is this nefarious character?
Well, that's the thing.
People don't know too much about him.
He's anonymous in the age
where it's nearly impossible
to be anonymous.
He has a great instinct
for pushing buttons.
He's distinguished himself
from other street artists
by having a bigger agenda.
He kind of exploded
into the stratosphere.
All of a sudden, everyone wanted
to talk about banksy...
- "Banksy, banksy, banksy."
- Banksy.
- Banksy.
- banksy.
I've heard about this guy for years.
Like the most famous on earth.
His works are far more famous
than his face.
So, from Bristol, right?
He's an english-born artist.
- What else do we know about him?
- That's pretty much it.
Banksy has never let
anyone see his face.
His following is international.
Banksy's art often has political
and social overtones,
and his controversial work
has appeared on walls across the world.
Including here,
on Israeli security walls
in the occupied west bank.
Since then, he's become popular
on the international auction circuit,
alongside Andy warhol and Damien hirst.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
are among the growing number
of collectors known to pay
more than $1 million for a banksy.
Banksy, a legendary
British street artist,
whose works are now popping up
all over New York City.
All right, he's been tagging the walls
of buildings throughout New York.
There's a well-known graffiti artist
who's making his Mark
in New York City...
On New York City.
I am Beth stebner.
I am a reporter with the daily news,
and I tracked banksy
throughout New York.
He announced that he was doing
a month-long residency,
so every morning, he'd post
to his Instagram account,
and he'd just leave the littlest teaser
of what he was doing.
There's gonna be one piece every day
for the entire month of October.
Every day,
he would post on his website...
...with a picture of the piece,
with no identifying location
for where it is.
Some of them had audio
commentary attached to them.
Supposed to be kind of like
a museum guide.
Hello, and welcome to lower Manhattan.
Before you, you will see a spray art
by the artist "ban-sky."
This piece is typical
of ban-sky's output,
relying as it does
on life-sized characters
viewed at a level perspective
in monochrome.
This effect is achieved by
spraying automotive spray paint
through an intricately cut shape
in a piece of cardboard,
or, to give it its proper term,
The children
in this case represent youth,
and the sign represents, well, signs.
What was interesting to me
as a journalist covering it
was the wide array
of people who showed up.
You had art students.
You had plumbers.
You had gallery owners that just
brought new yorkers out.
Yeah, we're looking
for the "banksky" piece
on 16 and Allen,
which I guess is the first
of his graffiti artwork
in New York City.
- He's doing a month-long...
- Right.
A month-long tour on
the streets of New York, right?
Putting artwork all over the place?
And we're trying to find the first one.
Now let us pause for a moment
to consider the deeper meaning
of this work.
Okay, that's long enough.
- What bullshit, huh?
- Yeah.
I actually believe they actually
covered up a banksky original.
So, it turned into
a scavenger hunt, in a sense,
where people would see this piece
and go, "oh, my God, where is it?
I need to find it before it disappears."
There's a lot of talk that it could be
one of the shop owners
or it could be him himself.
I don't know because the paintbrush
is still on the ground.
You just got to come as soon as you can.
I have to work later on today,
but first stop, see the new banksy.
I just wish I could have seen
the full piece.
I wanted to catch the banksy graffiti,
but I just missed it.
Huh, but I don't cry
about the could'ves
worry about the would'ves
sure don't give a shit
about the should'ves
so you think you've had it tough
had it tougher than the rest of us
you just couldn't take it
when it got too much
should've known
then you would end up
just like every other,
"coulda been a contender"
For the first time, we saw work
in a really seamless fashion,
where he would put out
this cryptic message on his website...
...which made like a treasure hunt
where you needed to go
and find something
in the part of the city
you'd never been in before.
We would post something, and then...
- Hashtag it.
- ...Hashtag it.
The banksy phenomenon, like,
trained us on to, like, how
to find things via social media.
Every day this month, it seems,
a fresh work will be unveiled,
but nobody knows where
and nobody knows when.
But I'd rather...
So, banksy would post something,
and within a very,
very small window of time,
people would just be tweeting
about it, using Instagram.
You'd just get a barrage
of people taking pictures.
The people who followed him...
It was their job,
it was their quest to find him.
The response to it
would be part of the art itself.
It's never been done like that before.
It was like a giant scavenger
hunt in New York City,
and we were all pawns.
We all played along beautifully.
For now, the city is getting
a new tourist attraction every day
and also a lot more graffiti.
You know what it was?
It was the integration
of the street and social media.
What was happening on the
streets was happening so fast,
there were camera crews
interviewing people immediately.
So, immediately I knew
that this was going to be
an important event
for 31 days in the city of New York,
prompted by banksy.
The "o" would be right here.
So, right where they
painted it, look at that.
- This is where it was.
- Amazing.
And then the "y" was right here.
You're standing somewhere
in New York City
and looking at a delivery truck
that is delivering calm.
Please rest awhile and enjoy the view.
We just found out
that it could be on St. Mark's and...
Second or third.
- ...second or third.
- Yeah.
We're headed there now.
I'm shaking!
Found it!
Can you imagine...
The coolest part is,
is that this guy
is hanging out here somewhere.
Or one of his associates
is hanging out...
They're watching the truck, yeah.
They're watching that truck, right?
It's basically a giant diorama.
And I could kind of care less
'cause I can to go
the natural history museum
and see a silly diorama.
But you listen to the audio guide,
and he's like, "this truck
is delivering calm
all throughout New York City."
Well, he was delivering chaos.
It never once delivered calm.
It was driving a banksy around the city
and hordes of people following it.
No one was there and thinking,
"oh, I'm so relaxed."
Everyone was there, saying,
"got to get in, get my picture.
How do I... aah!"
So, this is on St. Mark's place.
Meet me at the station
meet me 'bout half past 9:00
Banksy is at it again.
All right, banksy strikes again.
He tagged a truck
that cruised around the village.
Folks, brace yourself
'cause... the British are coming?
The British are coming.
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
So, today's banksky is a video.
Today's banksky is a video.
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Banksy really understands the necessity
to make narratives simple
for the mainstream media.
The video piece
that obviously had a reference
to "dumbo"...
The story of dumbo also was connected...
It came out around
the time of world war ii.
"Dumbo" was the code name
used for the u. S. Navy
during the '40s and '50s
to signify search-and-rescue mission.
The purpose of dumbo missions
was to rescue downed American aviators,
as well as seamen in distress.
Allahu akbar!
That video with dumbo
getting shot, right?
And if you look at that audio...
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
...that was actual audio
of militants taking a rocket launcher
and shooting down a real helicopter.
So, while we're all saying like, "oh,
childhood innocence is kind of, like,
cute but sad and whatever, video,"
that was the sound
of somebody actually dying.
Allahu akbar!
The helium balloon,
an object of such poetry,
its lightness, its fragility,
its way of wandering on a breeze.
It's an uplifting visual poem
to that most fragile of human emotions.
Oh, brother.
Such a juxtaposition, then,
is a common theme for this artist.
Or, to put it another way,
he just keeps repeating himself.
So, this piece, I think,
was put up there to be
an interactive piece, you know,
because it's, "there's always hope,"
the stencil, the girl with the balloon.
As soon as I saw it,
I was like, "all right,
I hope a little girl shows up
so I can get a shot."
You know, everybody wants to get
a shot that nobody else has.
And I was trying
to do it as quickly as possible
so everybody else who was there
wouldn't get the same shot.
I really loved how much
the audience participation
was a part of this show.
The bandaged heart balloon piece...
You had to stand in front of that piece.
Yes, you had to take a picture, sure.
So, Instagram, yay.
But you had to stand there
to activate the piece.
This piece is obviously
an iconic representation
of the battle to survive a broken heart.
I knew you were gonna do that shit, man.
Just in time.
Yeah, it's called spot-jocking.
You put your name or piece
next to somebody else's
who's, like, more famous than you
because everybody who looks at that
or takes a picture of that one
is also gonna get you.
First week, you saw people
tagging major pieces by banksy.
It was a call-and-response.
It was banksy saying,
"New York, here I am."
It was other graffiti artists
saying, "hear you loud and clear."
People had negative reactions
to his work getting ragged
by graffiti writers,
and people who wanted to rag his work...
They're all part
of the performance, you know?
It's like performance art.
It's like epic street theater.
Within the street-art community,
there are a lot of graffiti artists
who think that banksy is a poser,
that he's sold out,
that he is not authentic anymore
because of his notoriety.
I mean, it plays into this
"street art versus graffiti" divide.
There's a feeling
that graffiti is prosecuted
much more aggressively than street art,
graffiti is something that's bad.
So, you got this whole
sweltering sort of undertone
that already exists,
and in plops banksy.
Mine, mine, mine is on the inside
mine, mine, mine is on the inside
mine, mine, mine is on the inside
I don't really like you,
but I like you on the inside
Banksy comes from a sort of
traditional graffiti background.
Graffiti... it starts the story.
It's the original street art.
New York is the holy grail
of street artists and graffiti writers,
and I think there were a lot
of factors in New York
that made it important,
one of which was the fact that
there was a lot of empowerment
for marginal voices
in the '70s in New York.
There was also a strong art community.
There was also a strong
community of protest
that was going on in this city.
So, all these factors
sort of became this cocktail
that really, you know,
birthed the movement.
We didn't have art programs back then.
We didn't have sports programs
back then.
So, if you were competitive
and if you were an artist,
the trains were like
a giant beacon for you.
5 pointz is really
one of the rare locations
in the city of New York
where writers and graffiti artists
can come together and really
explore their talents,
And people from around the world
would come to New York
to visit it as a landmark.
And you pass it on the train,
and it's got that old,
gritty, industrial, wild sense
that New York had much more
at a point in time in the past.
But it's private property.
A developer acquired it
with plans to change it.
The largest legal
aerosol outlet in the u. S.,
quite possibly the world.
It was about artists
coming in and telling the story.
This is the difference between
public art and Times Square.
Banksy... his quote was,
"New York calls to graffiti writers
like a dirty, old lighthouse."
And it's true.
It's the birthplace of graffiti.
Of course banksy chose New York,
the midwife of graffiti.
So, I think an artist like banksy
really needed a little bit
of that credit.
Back in red hook,
the owners of the building
with the red balloon
decided to play it safe
and put up plexiglas
to prevent any more graffiti
on top of the graffiti.
Fans now waiting to see
what tomorrow will bring,
if it brings anything banksy at all.
Suddenly, someone posts
an address on Twitter.
Okay, here it is.
After a false alarm,
we eventually find it.
What do you think?
It's cool because we're one
of the first to get here.
Everyone after photographic proof
before too many others discover it.
The attention was too much
for the building's owners.
They started covering it up,
despite one rich man's best attempts.
$1,000 for the door right now.
And I'll buy you a new door...
Home depot... today.
His last piece sold for $400,000,
and it was a piece of stucco.
So, I would be glad
to hang that up on my wall.
Oh, man. Come on, man.
He didn't get his way.
Just like that, it was gone.
Instagram users hot on the banksy trail
posted pictures
of workers taking down the door,
hashtagged #dolladollabills.
All right, and now we come up
to the section that
everyone's been waiting for.
This is the banksy portion
of the auction.
So, people are taking banksy's work,
they're cutting them out of the wall,
and they're selling them
without authorization
and making a lot of money.
But what you see around banksy
is not money that banksy
is making day after day,
though that's the impression
in the press,
and that's the impression
that the gallery people who have
taken his rather stolen work
and put it up at auction
would like to give.
And we're selling it for $170,000
to Megan Thorne, bidders.
My name is Stephan keszler.
I'm the owner of the keszler gallery.
Southampton is the bathing
and recreation area of New York...
Hedge-fund guys and people
with very good income.
So here, we have one
of the most famous banksy works
from Bethlehem, the west bank.
The name is "wet dog."
In 10 years, this will be millions.
And if you compare this with basquiat
or with Keith haring
or even with Damien hirst,
you pay for something in
this size that is important...
$10 million, $20 million.
A few arguments by people is,
"oh, it's not banksy's intention
that this is in a gallery
or this is in a private collection.
My answer is always,
"it was not Picasso's intention
when he painted a beautiful woman
or gave a piece to the hairdresser
as a present
that it shows 40 years later
or 30 years later at
an auction house for millions."
I think, at a certain point,
when he does it,
it's not his business anymore.
Banksy is never
authenticating street art.
He puts every work he does
on his website.
So, if it's on his website,
it's an authentication of his work.
But I think if he goes to bed at night
and he thinks about what we do,
he's grateful about what we do.
You want to see this?
We got contacted from a middleman
that those banksy works,
the "wet dog"
and the "stop and search"...
From west bank to New York.
"Stop and search."
It's very smart, what he does.
I hope one day he will admit
that I'm good for him,
and then we can work together
with all the hustle.
This would be my dream.
With banksy,
you never know happens tomorrow.
And we hope we will do this
for a long time.
Did you see "house of cards"?
- Yeah.
- I love Kevin spacey.
Good morning!
What day of the week is it?
Is it Wednesday?
It's Wednesday.
I noticed a lot more traffic
on the way in,
so maybe it's the...
I'm already nervous
about banksky, aren't you?
Yep, I'm already nervous,
looking around.
Let's see if there's anything there.
We're in Times Square.
We just got word there is a gigantic...
- It's a war horse!
- ...Banksky piece...
A war horse!
...on the lower east side.
We're headed there right now.
We got a tip on Twitter.
Hey, puppy.
Come on.
Keep shooting.
Hotel 2-6, crazy horse 1-8.
Crazy horse 1-8,
this is hotel 2-6. Over.
All right, we just
engaged all eight individuals.
1-8, we also have one individual,
appears to be wounded
trying to crawl away.
He's getting up.
Maybe he has a weapon down in his hand?
No, no, I haven't seen one yet.
Come on, buddy.
All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.
Bushmaster, crazy horse 1-8.
For more than 2 1/2 years,
the wire service reuters
has been trying to find out
what happened to their two staff members
on this street
in the suburb of new Baghdad.
Wikileaks says this is what happened.
Hotel 2-6, crazy horse 1-8,
have five to six individuals
with ak-47s.
Light them all up.
Come on. Fire.
Keep shooting.
Keep shooting.
Hotel 2-6, crazy horse 1-8.
Crazy horse 1-8,
this is hotel 2-6. Over.
From a distance,
you hear the voices on the tape
watch as the wounded
try to crawl to help,
but when help arrives...
Come on.
Even from high above,
the harsh reality
becomes evident as the troops
that arrive claim two children, wounded.
You see them carry their small
bodies and call for help.
The response on the tape...
To tie it into something
that's so real and to, I guess,
refocus people's attention
not just on him,
but to use that attention...
To refocus it on this larger issue of,
like, "what are we paying attention to?"
Banksy managed to create
this huge installation
on the lower east side
without anyone seeing him.
There was a blue tarp for a while up.
Then the blue tarp came down.
I think it's kind of cool that
he's, like, this elusive artist.
Banksy has promised
to create a new work of art
every day this month in New York,
and no matter where the art pops up,
it's sure to cause lots of drama
on the streets.
These two images
were posted not long ago
on banksy's website.
It's graffiti, but depicting a beaver
chewing down a street sign,
but the caption
says "east New York," so...
Yes. so, there's a hint.
You want to take a picture,
it's gonna cost something,
or the shit could just get broke.
$100,000 portrait.
We're trying to get this up.
But before we ruin it,
we'd rather leave it so y'all
can come and take a picture.
See, I don't give
a... they see it.
They're not taking no pictures.
These guys in the east
New York section of Brooklyn
are actually charging people $5
to take pictures of graffiti.
You want to take a picture,
it's gonna cost something...
And some people are actually paying.
We're trying to get some bread.
This is my hood.
So, you want us to pay
to take a picture?
You came for what you came
for... to take that picture.
$20 ain't worth that for you?
I could step on this shit.
It don't matter to me.
Y'all wouldn't come here
if this wasn't here.
It's worth more to you
that this is here than to me.
People were going to the Bronx,
probably a part of the Bronx
they've never been to.
I mean, people went to east New York,
and they were going to a part of queens
that I think most new yorkers
have never been to.
He really shines a light on topics
that people quite often
don't want to talk about.
And one that he shined
a light on in this experience
is gentrification, you know,
the fact that he was putting
his artwork in places in New York City
that art collectors,
art dealers, art connoisseurs
would never travel to.
This is public art,
public space for anyone to come
and to experience and to enjoy together.
My name's Andrew russeth,
and I'm an art critic
for the New York observer.
We didn't write a ton about it...
I think almost...
Probably almost nothing...
Just because we think of our audience
as kind of the traditional, I guess,
contemporary fine-art world,
which banksy has kind of like
made a point of avoiding,
and the contemporary art world
has, for the most part,
kind of avoided him.
I just think a lot of banksy,
a lot of street art
is just so kitschy, so silly,
so, in a way, just dumb.
It's just art that kind of like
hits you over the head
with its message, its point.
And, you know, I think...
I'm at least interested in stuff
that has some nuance, some subtlety,
like, makes you feel weird
and think weird things.
And banksy is just the worst,
lowest-common-denominator art.
The one that I think
everyone kind of liked...
It was the moving truck
with the animals
all flailing about inside.
Anw Bo ke ko yan
anw Bo ke ko yan
Sabali, sabali,
sabali yonkonte
sabali, sabali, sabali kayi
ni kera mogo fe sabali yonkonte
ni kera tie fe sabali yonkonte
ni kera mousso fe sabali yonkonte
wo, ouh, wo, sabali,
sabali, sabali kagni
We found it!
You have to follow it till it stops.
Yeah, you can hear it and everything.
Cherie, je m'adresse toi.
Avec toi, cherie, la vie est belle.
La-la la-la la-la avec toi, cherie
wo, ouh, wo, la-la la-la la-la
ca c'est pour la vie
You have nothing to worry about.
Are you sure you got enough?
So many people I knew were really...
Were, you know, kind of tormented
that they missed this opportunity,
and I'm like,
"do you really want to own
a banksy that badly?"
And they're like, "no,
I want to get a banksy for 60 bucks."
And so it kind of plays
into that fantasy people have
of, like, going to a thrift store
and buying a painting,
and then a piece chips off
and you see
there's a painting underneath,
and you discover, like, a lost Da Vinci.
It's the last bit of dreaming
we have left in a culture
which promised the American dream.
We're at the new banksky.
At the new banksky.
- They're taking pictures of it.
- They are.
Okay, right behind
this blue guy, right there.
What you see before you
is a sculpture entitled "shoeshine,"
dating from the summer of 2013,
depicting the powerful figure of
Ronald McDonald
waiting impassively
as his ridiculously
oversized clown shoes
are buffed to a fine shine.
Ronald was adopted
as the official mascot
of the McDonald's fast-food
corporation chain in 1966.
Fiberglass versions of his likeness
have been installed
outside restaurants ever since,
thus making Ronald arguably
the most sculpted figure
in history, after Christ.
For this piece, the artist
has reproduced Ronald McDonald
in perfect detail,
...if by "perfect detail"
you mean "awfully"
and by "single-handedly" you mean
with two people helping.
But take a closer look,
and you may notice something
familiar about this clown.
His face is that
of the Greek god hermes,
carved by praxiteles in 340 b. C.
Is this a wry, oblique reference
to Greek mythology?
Or did the artist
have such difficulty
trying to sculpt the face,
he simply plonked on the nearest
replica bust he could find?
We will never know.
It's the second one.
NYPD is hot on his trail,
saying what he is doing
around the five boroughs
is vandalism.
No one knows who he is
or what he looks like,
even though he's been
around for quite some time.
16 have been painted so far.
The NYPD is calling "bansky" a vandal,
vowing to arrest the artist
if he is caught.
While I don't support
the public defacing of,
you know, buildings, I'm...
I'm very intrigued.
Police are still trying
to track this guy down.
We're so close to kind of getting
a glimpse of maybe who he is.
Police department's stance
on the art is,
graffiti is graffiti, and it is illegal.
Banksy has many fans,
but don't count mayor bloomberg
among them.
Graffiti does ruin people's property
and is a sign of decay
and loss of control.
And you running up
to somebody's property
or public property and defacing it
is not my definition of art.
Well, it's funny 'cause, I mean,
bloomberg's been so proactive
with public art.
But, you know, it should be sanctioned.
It should be commissioned.
In the '70s and '80s,
it was so prevalent,
and it sort of became associated
in the new yorkers' minds with blight.
It became associated with crime.
Each of these cost us
$1 million in a sense
because others went out
and tried to copy.
Is it worth it?
Well, it is one of the quality
of life offenses,
and you can't just take one of
those quality of life offenses.
It's like three-card monte
and pickpocketing
and shoplifting
and graffiti defacing
our public and private walls.
I mean, look, the law is the law,
and you're not allowed to deface
someone else's property
without their permission.
You know, at the same time,
there's no doubt that the way
people experience the city is...
Their interests are perked
by seeing kind of a wall in a new way.
The twist in the banksy story
is that when he vandalizes
your property,
its value goes up instead of going down.
I wish I can meet him
in person to congratulate him
because he's getting paint
on my building.
I'm a real-estate developer in Brooklyn,
and we're putting street art and murals
on all of our projects.
It's a wonderful amenity
for our tenants,
and it creates a vibrant
neighborhood and street-scape.
You know, so, they've worked so hard
to get it off the subways,
and now I go on the subways,
and it's one big ad.
It's sort of like, "oh, great."
You know,
it's all this privatization
of public space.
"Graffiti free NYC."
So, this is what they want, eh?
Excuse me.
Two days ago, it was an old man.
You know what I mean?
What was it, though?
Two women on top of a bridge.
- Huh?
- two women on top of a bridge.
- Did it.
- We found him.
We found it.
They did?
What did they do?
They smeared all over.
- Really?
- mm-hmm.
- Yeah.
- that guy...
He tagged over that piece
probably five minutes
before I got there.
Like, I was walking
around the williamsburg area
looking for that piece
and checking Instagram at the same time.
Like, "oh, man, this guy
just painted over
the geisha paintings, da da da da."
Don't fuck up.
Your life's at stake.
Don't blow it, guys.
There were this collaborative
group called the wet wipe gang.
We ride around, and we wipe.
We ride around, and we wipe.
They would go after a banksy
had been tampered with.
They would go in and try and restore it.
So, there is sort of this altruistic,
you know, like, Robin hood do-goodery
that was taking place, too.
I've been following since day one.
Like, I feel like...
Chasing these pieces is like...
It reminds me of when I was a teenager
chasing that new pair of Jordans
that came out Saturday morning.
It's like,
I wake up early to catch these
before they're defaced.
Welcome to ban-sky's
"better out than in."
This is more than just another art show.
Oh, no, wait.
That's exactly what it is.
This is a collaboration
between banksy and os gemeos,
the street-art twins from Sao paolo,
who are something akin
to folk heroes back home.
Come in and rest awhile.
There's a bench right here.
And over in the corner is a
water cooler full of cheap wine.
Please help yourself to a cup.
After all, it's an art-world tradition
to ignore the paintings
and gossip over drinks.
It's an art district.
It's the art district of New York.
- It's Chelsea.
- So, having them there,
positioned like right
under a bridge that,
you know, would otherwise go unlooked
and have that be the place to be
other than a gallery,
in itself, is fantastic
because it speaks to the entire show.
Just having people...
Have an exhibit outside
and having a high demand
and such a high interest in it,
that people would rather
be standing outside under this bridge
than in any of these lovely galleries
with their white walls, you know.
So, I did a search on artforum...
Not one single mention of banksy
or the residency
on all of artforum for a month.
I understand that that's not
what they want to cover,
but you'd think they'd do, like,
one little blurb,
like, "hey, guys, banksy's in New York.
We think he's silly."
The thing about the art world
is that they're inheriting
an artist with millions of fans,
a whole history, and a whole
language around them.
It's unfathomably more complex
than they can catch up.
And yet, they feel obliged
to put in their opinion.
Well, their opinion's
gonna be based off of,
like, "we missed this."
These pieces were inspired
by the occupy movement
that started in wall street in 2011.
But quite how exhibiting
these pictures under a bridge
in the heart of gallery row
is supposed to be doing
anything for the 99%,
we can't be sure.
I mean, he gets pretty
deeply serious sometimes,
like the piece with the horses.
I don't know what it is about banksy
that he... you know, he's not the first
and definitely won't be the last
street artist that there is,
but there's something
about his wittiness, I guess.
I mean, it's always a bit funny.
This is the first
"hipster scavenger hunt."
Every day, people wake up...
My first thing I Google,
other than my own
handsome pictures, is...
First thing I Google is,
"where's the new piece?
What's going on?"
You know who says he's a sellout?
Motherfuckers that ain't
making no motherfucking money
thinks he's a motherfucking sellout.
This wine's pretty strong.
I'm not sure if I can do this anymore.
I say hit them with the water Cannon.
It's the only time these
filthy idiots ever get a wash.
I mean, they should occupy
a bathtub maybe.
Can I get some more wine?
I walked into the store at 12:00.
He said to me, "you know,
there's a banksy over there,"
and I said, "who's banksy?"
Tell them the story.
I got a text from my cousin
about 10 after 9:00 Sunday morning.
It said, "you guys must be
pretty busy over there today,"
and I said, "why?"
He said, "well, there's a banksy
around the corner on dsw."
Kids were acting out.
They were putting their head
down on the standpipe.
Everybody was just so full
of good feelings,
only joy, no negativity.
Everybody was just happy.
I thought that we had to protect it.
So, we hung this article
from the wall street journal.
This is a close-up of this caricature.
You see... You see this line over here?
That's the plexiglas that we put.
This is one of the few pictures
we have... come here...
One of the few picture that we
have with actually someone
looking at it.
There's a picture
of my brother and myself.
Point the camera that way.
There it is.
So, that's one of the few
banksys that have survived.
- Okay, guys?
- Yep.
Okay, come on.
Check it out.
There were some rumors
that this was defaced,
but his latest... well, there,
they're showing it to us.
There it is.
It's intact.
I believe that there's still
this negative image,
these negative stereotypes of the Bronx.
And where I am upset with him is
that he didn't do his research
and that what he winds up doing
is perpetuating
those negative stereotypes
with this type of wording.
People from the Bronx are a little upset
because of the word "ghetto"
and them taking that word
a little out of proportion.
We are the ghetto.
And this is where it started...
In the ghetto.
And it's really nice.
So, this what we're looking for.
It's in flushing, queens.
Yeah, what a crazy spot.
It's like in a junkyard or something.
Oh, my God.
She's trying to buy it from him.
Does he know how much it's worth?
I'm the only one who found it.
At 6:00 in the morning,
when I come in to work,
nobody paid attention.
I'd be like, "that's weird.
Who do this?"
Everybody started coming.
Paparazzi started taking
pictures and everything.
You see the sidewalk right here?
- I didn't even...
- See that thing?
It's been there for a month.
Can you grab the duster out of there?
No, you guys can keep...
I'm fine. Thank you.
What were you saying?
They're guarding that thing
with their lives.
Why do you think they're guarding it?
Because they probably want to sell it.
I mean, New York was founded
as the mecca of capitalism,
so everyone wanted to make a quick buck
or, in this case, a quick million.
Somebody's already
stealing... the piece.
They're gonna ruin it.
They're stealing it right now,
as we speak.
What do you think about that?
It's fucked up.
They don't even know who the artist is.
Yeah, right?
They don't even know who it is.
They don't even know who the artist is.
They think they're gonna
get money on ebay.
They probably will, but...
Now, that's just theft
in like... in broad daylight.
- Gone.
- Like it never even existed.
Like it never even happened.
Same pile of rocks that were
there yesterday are there now.
Yep, the same stupid-ass
pile of rocks and the...
- No, no, no.
- Oh.
The same stupid pile of rocks
in the stinky, little pond
on the worthless piece of property
that they're going to tear down
to turn into a housing development.
Speaking of stinky,
you're pretty stinky, mister.
Hey, man, I had to go far and wide
for my banksky experience.
You can't do that here.
No, that's graffiti.
Thank you.
Kurt's on TV.
Really got to find out
where those things are,
race to them,
take the pictures, you know,
and start talking to people,
you know, enjoy the area
because I think it all just
adds to the whole ambiance.
- $1.
- don't touch. Don't touch.
- Exit left.
- Have a good day.
Don't touch.
Ask for permission,
and permission is granted.
I know.
Guys, step back!
Step back!
- Back up!
- Back up!
Back up!
Let's go!
A little help!
Meantime, there's been a rash of greed
surrounding the concrete sphinx
he put up on Tuesday
near citi field.
Two auto shop partners took it.
They told the post they
were offered $50,000 for it,
but they say they're holding out
for more.
And they claim
that they did not steal it
because banksy did not report it stolen.
We don't know anything
about... you know,
we saw a lot of photographer,
a lot of paparazzi, a lot of, you know,
dressed people, nice-dressed people.
When you see that kind of people,
you know something's going on.
They just told us,
"oh, you got to be very careful
because this is very important."
And at the end of the day,
we just decided to take it
because if we don't take it,
somebody's gonna do it.
He got a plan for his mother.
You know, he want to buy maybe
a house or something, you know?
Maybe this is the opportunity...
You got one in your life...
That makes you change your whole life.
Right now, it's very expensive to live.
- Oh, yeah.
- You know, and this...
And this little basement,
we already pay $1,400 for this.
Three days ago, we got an e-mail
and that they would like to sell it.
"We have a banksy piece.
We want to sell it."
"Okay. I come by."
Stephan. nice to meet you.
- Elias.
- hi. Brendan.
- Elias.
- nice to meet you.
- This is the boss.
- Hi. Hi.
How are you?
Stephan. Nice to meet you.
This is my mom.
So, is this the banksy?
- Is this the banksy?
- Yeah.
We got to remove all this stuff
'cause it's all the way in the back.
This is all our security.
To get inside,
you have to remove everything.
This is it.
- Can we go in?
- Yeah, sure.
Go ahead.
Who's not gonna like this piece?
It's unique.
On the side here, this side?
So, what are your plans?
The plans is, actually,
sell it, a good sell.
- That's what...
- What is a good sell?
I don't know.
- Do you know about us?
- No.
That's good.
You know about us?
It's good.
You know southampton?
- Southampton. long island.
- Mm-hmm.
Suffolk county.
Right, Nicky?
So, we have a gallery
in southampton, big gallery.
Our gallery is selling
original banksy street works.
If you're interested to talk about this,
we can talk about this.
No problem.
Most of the people
who have these banksy works...
They get greedy.
They say, "oh, this is millions."
- Mm-hmm.
- and millions is ridiculous.
- Life is about solution.
- Yes.
Exactly. I always say that.
And then, from what we sell,
we get a certain percentage.
They're gonna take it to the gallery.
They're gonna put insurance.
And the best buy is the one
that's gonna get it,
and they get a percent.
Me and you, you and me, me and you.
What is your opinion?
Then we will show it
at southampton this summer.
And then we go to...
- Can it get any louder?
- Yeah.
So, if we sell the banksy,
you can put one of these
in your new corvette.
Hasta luego.
It was good to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
- Bye.
- Bye-bye.
- bye-bye.
This is banksy, too.
Somebody saw a big, blue tarp
surrounding what had
previously been an empty lot
with curious things inside and workers.
So, I don't know if they saw
a banksky or Santa's village,
but we'll see.
It is often said that the role of art
is to remind us of our morality.
"Brainsky's" take on that seems
to be mounting an art show
that goes on for so long,
we all wish we were dead already.
Ladies and gentlemen,
please don't crowd
in the street, please.
I have no idea. I didn't
even know this was happening.
Seasons don't fear the reaper
nor do the wind, the sun,
or the rain
we can be like they are
come on, baby
don't fear the reaper
baby, take my hand
don't fear the reaper
we'll be able to fly
It was like a happening.
It was just this momentary thing,
and either you were there
or you found out about it
or you missed it.
La, la-la, la-la
To be honest with you,
I think the real show that
he's running is on the Internet.
It's like the Internet's
almost the graffiti wall.
It's like every one
of these new banksy pieces
is kind of like a stencil
that we're, you know,
running around throwing up
all over the place for him.
This is street art.
I'll be on like tumblr saying,
"what can I re-blog today?"
Like, you can't re-blog this.
You have to experience this.
I mean, he's got a team in New York
that I think has probably
laid the groundwork
for a lot of these things.
And this particular space,
where the grim reaper is...
I think in that case,
it was probably just,
you know,
gaining access via the landlord.
I mean, I think he managed
to kind of walk
an interesting line of doing some,
like, entirely un-sanctioned pieces
and then, on the other end
of the spectrum,
doing things that were obviously done,
at least, with a tacit permission.
Crowds in Chelsea were flocking tonight
to see banksy's latest installation.
It's under the high line.
I could never get
a solid answer out of anyone.
I managed to talk
to one of the instrumentalists,
the accordion player...
The grim reaper.
They had to sign all these
confidentiality clauses.
But in my opinion,
I think it kind of proves
that he isn't this sort of rogue
street artist anymore,
that he is a businessman,
and he has to protect his brand.
And his brand is this
sort of fly-by-night,
cloak-and-dagger street artist.
Today's piece was supposed
to be an editorial
in the New York times
about the one world trade center,
the freedom tower, and how ugly it is.
But the New York times declined it.
Now, meantime, not everyone
is happy with banksy tonight.
He posted an op-ed piece on his website
that he submitted to the New York times,
which the newspaper declined to print.
In the piece, he calls
the freedom tower in lower Manhattan
"the biggest eyesore in New York City"
and "a shy skyscraper."
He said it was something
that could be built in Canada,
which pissed off not only new yorkers,
but Canadians.
I think a lot of us
agree that the new freedom tower
isn't a very nice building,
And, you know,
whether he was actually going
to have this published.
I don't think that was the point.
You know, this idea of being censored
was really part of the message.
Can you explain to everyone, then,
what the banksky thing was?
So, the banksky piece
said on the side of a building,
"this site contains
blocked messages," right?
He went to a spot across
from the world trade center,
right, on the other side of the river...
- Mm-hmm.
- ...And put that up there...
"This site contains blocked messages"...
In full view of the freedom tower.
And now it's gonna be
world headline news.
It's stopping people
dead in their tracks.
It was an anonymous donation,
a painting mysteriously purchased,
then given back with banksy's Mark.
There's what appears
to be a Nazi soldier
sitting on a bench in this banksy
titled "the banality
of the banality of evil."
You could see people here
gathered, taking pictures.
They cannot believe that they
are actually seeing a banksy
here on 23rd street.
He takes a benign, picturesque version
of humanity in nature.
And he basically put
a Hitler mustache on this guy.
He just totally twisted it,
and so it becomes so far from any form
of political correctness.
And then he twists it again by doing
about the most politically
correct thing you can do
as a successful artist.
But he puts this up
in auction for the homeless.
My name's David raper.
I'm the head of businesses
at housing works thrift shops.
Banksy, the u. K. Artist,
unannounced, dropped an original
work into one of our stores.
The sorts of things we do is,
we build housing
for HIV-positive people in the city.
We provide healthcare services,
drug treatment and drug counseling.
Our job, to be honest,
with this piece of work,
is to create a bit of fun
for our customers
and to turn it into money
that we can do good with.
It's up for auction
for the next 24 hours.
It was come and left
in the store very quietly,
and then a little while later,
we got a tip-off from his people
that there was an original work
in the store,
and that's how we found out
about it yesterday afternoon.
The original work was actually
bought here
about two weeks ago for $50.
The little bit of extra work
that he's put in
has turned into something
that's gonna be over $250,000.
He called it "the banality
of the banality of evil."
"The banality of evil" is the subtitle
of Hannah arendt's book...
The trial of Adolf eichmann.
He was accused of deporting
the Jews to the death camps.
Yet Hannah arendt insisted
he was not a monster.
He was perfectly ordinary.
And arendt's conclusion was
that evil is not perpetrated
by the people at the top.
Evil is perpetrated
by the people like eichmann
who are just doing their jobs.
It's a failure to think.
That's what Hannah arendt called it...
A failure to think.
And banksy, I think, is trying
to expose this failure to think.
is where you can place your bid
if you have that kind of money.
It's up to $211,000.
The bidding has gotten huge.
Banksy work up for auction
at more than $300,000.
...he donated
was auctioned off last night
for $615,000.
It's my party,
and I'll cry if I want to
cry if I want to,
c-c-cry if I want to
you would cry, too,
if it happened to you
you would cry, yeah, yeah
don't know why he is not here
and I called him more than twice
but he won't pick up
where the guys?
I had a couple of friends come
not the ones I really like
what the...
It's my party,
and I'll cry if I want to
cry if I want to,
c-c-cry if I want to
you would cry, too,
if it happened to you
you would cry, too,
if it happened to you
Banksy dropped this off in queens,
behind, essentially, a mechanics shop.
And these guys get...
They're the owners,
totally regular guys...
If it happened to you
you would cry, yeah, yeah
And they actually loaded it
into their truck,
drove away with it, put it
into their grandmother's garage.
She got body, she got body
- I'm-a get her
- hey, how are you?
- Good.
- nice to see you.
Me, too.
How is things here?
Good. a lot of people.
I think this is a piece of the fair.
I'm very happy
with the resonance of people.
This is the first night tonight,
and I think this is the major
piece of the whole show.
He is not here
and I called him more than twice
but he won't pick up
So, that picture
that you see right there...
We're gonna put that here,
in a tattoo, a real tattoo.
It'll say, "thanks, banksy."
This looks better
than in the garage, no?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah!
- Yeah.
So, now today or tomorrow,
they look, and then
they come back, and then...
Today is a circus, you know?
Everyone's looking...
"Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh."
So, the asking price is $350,000.
I think it's a very significant
piece from the New York show.
And I'm happy that they contacted me
and that we were able to make a deal.
I think we're gonna sell it.
Good luck with that.
You could cry, too,
if it happened to you
I'm gonna be around,
see what I can find.
The rich see the art about money.
Banksy see the art about art.
You would cry, too,
if it happened to you
He did it when he was
in New York, in November.
So, he sets it up
every time you move it?
- Banksy?
- yeah.
No. he... he has nothing to do with it.
I hope so.
If they're gonna just
tear it down and build condos,
why they hell did they have
to paint over everything?
They painted over it
so there wasn't, like, a dispute
on making it a monument
or, like, a historic site.
By whitewashing the building,
there's no more argument.
They win.
To me, 5 pointz really is
part of a larger development
in New York,
where, essentially,
the value of real estate
has become so prohibitively expensive
that it's becoming
increasingly difficult
for cultural organizations to function.
A lot of the development
that takes place
is for people with a lot of money...
It drives out people that lived
in their neighborhoods
for a long time,
that the benefits of new development
aren't being shared anywhere
near as well as we want them to,
that the inequality crisis
hits neighborhoods often
in the form of some new
glass-and-steel luxury tower.
People are angry.
People are asking a lot of questions,
and graffiti has long been
one way people ask them.
In "the grapes of wrath,"
John steinbeck writes,
"a homeless hungry man,
driving the roads
with his wife beside him
and his thin children in the backseat,
could look at the fallow fields
that might produce food,
but not for profit,
and that man could know
how a fallow field is a sin
and the unused land a crime
against the thin children."
Here's today's piece.
Today's... and final piece.
It says, "an inflatable throw-up
on the long island expressway."
Oh, there's audio. Okay.
"And that's it.
Thanks for your Patience.
It's been fun.
Save 5 pointz. Bye."
Well, this is the last day of the show,
and I'd like to say
we're going out on a high note.
And I guess, in a way, we are.
Graffiti god banksy
wraps up New York residency
with this final work,
and his admirers, of course,
flock to the site,
including some who may have
admired it a little too much.
You could see the piece.
It was beautiful.
But within minutes,
they came up with the ladder.
...scaling the side
of a building with a hatchet
to cut down the valuable work of art.
Someone's taking the piece down!
I want to be a part of it
It's an homage of sorts
to the most prevalent form of graffiti
in the city that invented it
for the modern era.
These vagabond shoes
As fans gathered to see the piece,
two men were seeing trying
to remove the balloons.
My heart just, like, sank
to the bottom of my stomach.
But as they hit the ground,
they were soon confronted
by members of the public.
Now this piece created
what we new yorkers love...
A fight on the streets.
No. what are you doing?
- Move! move!
- and I'm king of the hill
Okay, cue the cops.
top of the heap
Move! move!
People are wrestling all over
the ground and everything.
You know, the police
break up the commotion.
And then they grabbed
the banksky balloons, right,
that spells "banksy," all in one piece.
The cops, just standing around it
as if it was a corpse.
The balloons represented banksky,
and they finally at the very end
caught banksky.
That's amazing.
Finally caught their man.
- They finally got their man.
- Yeah.
They were just stuffing it
in the back of a paddy wagon.
I was pleading with the police.
I was like, "you don't
understand the social currency
involved in this.
Please put it back up."
Load it up.
Don't touch me.
I'm fighting with a cameraman
that was ruthless and is elbowing me
and is breaking my ribs.
And I said, "don't do that."
And then they heard me maybe.
No, no, no.
They all look at me.
And I took a photograph.
And then the next minute,
I'm in handcuffs.
You guys want to go with them?
Do you want to go with them?
Now the last banksy piece
is in police custody.
It was an emotional experience
for most of us
that hunted banksy for the month.
So, what does the artist hope
to have achieved
with his so-called residency?
Shame it didn't get any press.
Banksy asserts that outside
is where art should live,
amongst us,
where it can act as a public service,
provoke debate, voice concerns,
forge identities.
Don't we want to live
in a world made of art,
not just decorated by it?
It's up to you, New York
New York
New York