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.