Banksy just posted his latest piece on Instagram (and his website), and it's ... a rock formation in Queens, sitting in large, trash-filled puddle. He wrote:
"Everything but the kitchen Sphinx. A 1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks.You're advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water."
This is the 22nd piece in his Better Out Than In open-air, month-long residency here in New York. Who will get there first, the vandals or the cops?
We'll update when we have a location. The piece was likely done either overnight or really early, as Banksy's photos look like they were taken just before sunrise.
UPDATE, 11:55 a.m.: The piece is at 35th Avenue and 127th Street in Willets Point, near Citi Field.
Our own Jake Dobkin ponders the new piece: "The sphinx is obviously a reference to the monument building of politicians like Mayor Bloomberg and major corporations like Citibank, whose stadium is right next door. Banksy is pointing out that like the Sphinx, these monuments will inevitably decay and be lost to the sands of time. Or something—maybe that pile of concrete was just there and looked like a Sphinx and he thought it'd be funny to point it out."
UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.:Nic Garcia is on the scene and has sent in photos of a group of men blocking the statue. He tells us, "These guys made a barricade and are blocking the path to the photo spot next to the statue. They don't speak English and won't say much... but the guy in the white shirt... he actually tried to stop someone from taking a shot with a banana [ed. note: Cronuts are allowed!]. There's not very many people trying to get by them. I don't know if they think they're protecting it or what, but obviously everyone is saying it's gonna get lifted out by any of the hundred forklifts in a 30 foot radius. It's mostly one huge piece made in a studio, and they moved it in and added scrap rocks."
UPDATE, 2 p.m.: Garcia tells us, "The guys have chilled out. They're letting people through. They just want to protect it because it's something special—they appear to have had good intentions. They said 2 guys dropped it off really early and piled rocks on top."
So far it doesn't seem like anyone has tried to lift it, so it's unclear how heavy it is.