Was walking down the street earlier this week and to my surprise and delight, I saw this by the 2nd Avenue subway station:
As usual, the work was done anonymously. But the New York Sun seems to think it knows who the culprit is. Their impeccable journalistic sleuth work is so keen that they've gone as far as to suggest that the artist is none other than Banksy. Being that the above display of art was found just a block away from the location where Banksy's U.K.-based art dealer has just opened a temporary gallery (Bowery and E. Houston), it must follow that this is his work. Right? Hmm...I'm not so convinced.
The style is similar to his, but not identical. The shadowing favors Banksy's style, but the detail in Barack Obama's face is not really Banksy's style. Nevertheless, his depiction of Barack as Superman is so befitting, being that most people who favor the Illinois senator tend to be devout believers in some sort of intrinsic superhuman power he possesses that can save the country from peril and economic crisis with one fell swoop. Hmm...sounds like a pipe dream if I've ever heard one. Anyone who thinks he's Roosevelt reincarnated had better brace themselves for heartbreak.
Though Banksy's a native of England, his most recent work has turned up in New Orleans where he did a series of images on the sides of buildings commenting on the dismal state of affairs in the Post-Katrina city. Check the flix on his site here. This kat's style is bananas. The way he uses shadowing in a trompe l'oeil fashion is off the chain. Almost a stencil-like effect.
I'm sure my blog hasn't reflected it in the past, but I have a twisted love affair with street art. It's such a creative form of social commentary on a variety of levels. And I guess part of me still longs for some traces of that old pre-Giuliani NYC to linger. While galleries are dope, they tend to domesticate and commodify the art form. In that process, it loses its bite and pure intention. I champion all my folks around the city who are on point with the Sharpies and Krylon. And even more, those who are stretching beyond the boundaries and doing shit like my man Banksy.