He brought his graffiti-inspired show to the city where the art form was born, and yesterday, Banksy signed off with a mixed-media piece made to look like the ubiquitous bubble tags found on so many of New York's walls. The British artist debuted around 30 new artworks—most were sprayed or stenciled on the walls, some took the form of videos, and others were canvases or other media hung in incongruous settings around the five boroughs. And a few New Yorkers will be chuffed to discover that the $60 canvases they bought from a stall in Central Park were in fact Banksy originals.
But perhaps the climax to the month-long show was a banal landscape that Banksy bought from a thrift shop, "vandalized" and then returned to the shop, on East 23rd Street. The work, entitled The banality of the banality of evil, was auctioned last night, with a winning bid of $615,000. The money will be given to the Housing Works charity.