Yesterday, Banksy announced his latest NYC piece would be a "Mobile waterfall. Touring daily. Tonight - East Village." The news sent street art fans (Gothamist included) into a frenzy trying to locate the vehicle. Finally, after 7 p.m., the truck was parked on St. Mark's Place, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, for the Saturday night throngs.
The truck was worth the wait: inside the battered, tagged-up old GMC was a little paradise world. Set in a forest with a bright sun and blue skies, there was an actual waterfall with real water splashing into a pool, a little bridge and a butterfly fluttering in the distance.
Many of those at the truck had specifically arrived because they've been following Banksy; others stopped because a waterfall in the back of a truck is just unusual! And it was more reminiscent of the installation he did in the West Village in 2008, using animatronics (though this one was less satirical).
The truck was running, but the front of the cab was empty. Someone went into the front to take a photo, but a man with long hair and wearing a jumpsuit uniform asked him to leave:
Another man in a jumpsuit uniform and a cap was watching the scene from across the street:
These men were the truck's drivers. Sean Lynch tells us what happened:
The one with the long hair had a trucker outfit with a name tag that read "Rosario." Rosario, as I'll refer to him, orbited the truck in a wide-oval path from one side of St. Marks to another. When I got there the other gentleman was just getting out of the truck but he disappeared for a bit. He returned around 8:30 and was focused more on watching the cab of the truck. Both men chased two people out from taking photos in the seat of the truck.
I attempted to set up communication with Rosario around 8:20ish or so. I stated so you are a driver for Banksy. He responded, "No. I drive a truck like this." I asked why are you so focused on the truck? "He smiled and strolled away."
The second gentleman sat outside the yogurt store across the street. Someone asked what's going on? He responded, "I don't really know," and continued looking at his phone.
At 8:55 pm the lights went off in the back of the truck. The water of the waterfall went off and Rosario walked up closed the back and locked it. He proceeded up the side of the truck, got in the cab and started the truck. They had it timed like clockwork. Both men made several phone calls over the course of the final 5 minutes of the exhibit.
Another reader, Thomas McKean, tells us that he spotted the truck at a gas station, where they were fiddling with the battery source, "The man in [a cap] had a British accent and the other had a NY accent they both seamed frantic when I approached them." McKean asked the man if he was Banksy, he smirked and said, "I'm a truck driver."
The truck then stopped in Astor Place for a bit.