If you’d be walking through the streets of New York and you would see the salesman above, even if you know the work of Banksy, would you by a painting? Chances are that you wouldn’t as such an piece of art can be quickly made with a stencil and a spray can. Is that worth 60 dollars? Still there were a couple of people who did decide to buy a couple. The price for which they can seel them? More than 30.000 dollar (per piece). With that street artist Banksy proves that art and its worth has to do something with how well you know the artist and really not much with the piece of art itself. It was one of the many stunts he managed to pull off during his month-long residency in New York. This documentary shows all of them, including the reaction of the New Yorkers.
His stay and daily reveals of new art, which were published about on his website lead to a hype where a lot of people went around New York searching for them, wanting to see them before they got destroyed by the owner’s of a building or by other graffiti artists. These “Banksy hunters” documented their search and shared it through Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. That footage, as well as news items are used to make this film. The result is something which is more focussed on the reaction on the art than the art itself. That’s something which is probably more interesting as it shows the psyche of people.
It is a fascinating aspect, because when a Banksy work is destroyed or stolen his fans are quick to condemn that behaviour (because the pieces are worth a lot), but remain silent when an area which has amazing wall paintings (not by Banksy) will be painted over by the city. It’s a double standard just because Banksy is popular. When another person spraypaints somethingn it is seen as vandalism, but when it’s Banksy it is judged differently.
Banksy once again knows how to get people talking, not only about the art world, but also about capitalism and world news, like the infamous attack of an American army helicopter published by Wikileaks. That’s the genius of Banksy. He manages to make his audience think about things they normally don’t. This documentary might not be of the same level as his Exit Through the Gift Shop, but is well worth a watch.