The city is gripped by Banksy Mania, with the mysterious street artist putting up a new piece every day this month in different parts of the city—it's a scavenger hunt for us, but for him it's somewhat of a return to his roots as an artist.
He told the Village Voice in a rare interview given over email: "I started painting on the street because it was the only venue that would give me a show. Now I have to keep painting on the street to prove to myself it wasn't a cynical plan... commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist. When you look at how society rewards so many of the wrong people, it's hard not to view financial reimbursement as a badge of self-serving mediocrity." So once again, Banksy has taken to the streets of New York City, where he says every street artist wants to prove themselves.
Of course, this isn't his first stab at the city's walls, he's been here time and again since 2005 (maybe even before?), and he's come in different forms. The multimillionaire art star has brought his clever stencils to our walls, he's put up large murals on our buildings, and he's even set up a fake pet store in a storefront.
For a look at the comprehensive set of Banksy's works in New York over the past decade, here's an interactive map, created by Steven Melendez for Gothamist, below.
And spectators aren't the only ones drawn to his work—other street artists and taggers have taken on plenty of his pieces, most commonly these come from Smart Crew (here's their latest addition to his LES piece)—their "contributions" are highlighted in green in the map.
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