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Ride the Banksys

Did you miss the Banksy craze of the British graffiti artist that turned NYC into his own gallery for the month of October? The anonymous artist was able to drive trucks around town with fake animals in it…

Plop down animatronic grim reapers in Noho and place a repainted work of art in Housing Works as a donation stunt. (which sold for 615,000 online) A lot of the artists work is more about the stunt and it’s rip on the art world in general, but it did tie directly into the core of graffiti and how it is digested by the public, making an urban environment a public gallery available to all. This seems even more necessary in a world like NYC where artistic culture is being gobbled up and replaced with mundane glass (unaffordable) housing like the case of the Atlantic Yards or 5 pointz unofficial graffiti museum in Long Island City, an on going debate.

The group Right of Way, who has been taking the visual message of unnecessary deaths of pedestrians and cyclists due to reckless driving, recently used Banksy’s attention grabbing residency to send a message of their own, that directly involved New Yorkers.
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It was this blogger who designed the artwork, but it was the brave actions of ROW who was able to put this stencil piece up on 178th
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where Alexian Lien was maliciously beaten by an angry motorcycle club while members of the NYPD (off duty) stood by and participated in the violence. Not only that, one of the officers was identified as infiltrating Occupy Sandy in order to spy on activist groups. Organizations like Time’s Up, cycling advocacy group, who provide positive things for NYC bikers have also recently been infiltrated by the NYPD. This is the message I wanted to send out while everyone was eagerly waiting to find out where the next Banksy would be. I felt this story was being missed, that while the police are eagerly cracking down on our bike rides and biking in general, they are also finding the time to spy on us and pretend to be actual members of our community. Then when it comes time for them to help us…they don’t blow their covers…and instead join in on the riot-or maybe it’s more about when their isn’t a riot…they create one.

So while outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg was comenting on Banksy’s art residency saying, “”But look, graffiti does ruin people’s property and it’s a sign of decay and loss of control.” he might have taken a closer look at his own police force, that seems to be the ones out of control.

A few stories on the #cranksy action from Gothamist: Banksy Remixed To Protest Cops’ Alleged Role In Motorcycle Rampage Assault.
and
Animal NY: FAKE BANKSY IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS TRAFFIC VIOLENCE, POLICE COMPLICITY.

A photo album of the #Cranksy action: here.

There is also a 1800 number listed on the stencil (1-800-646-8162) of our fake Banksy with a recorded message that speaks to the issues of police infiltration and lack of suspecting criminality in fatalities caused by motorists.
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You won’t be able to find this piece of art, since it was immediately taken down. Probably, judging by the fact that the entire wood was removed instead of painted over, this was the work of someone who wanted to keep the piece.

Here is a story on the removal from Gothamist: Banksy Fever People Are Now Stealin.

However, Transportation Alternatives has given our #Cranksy action some recognition and also listed remaining sites of Banksy works with addresses that you can explore by bike as well as the nearest Citibike locations.

Find out more: here.

And one more note…
Well pedestrians continue to die on the streets due to reckless driving as in the case of two this past weekend (9 year old Derrek Callendar-father of 5, killed in the Bronx) The NYPD was busy arresting people for trying to claim Banksy’s final balloon piece. The Balloon’s were taken into custody as well.

Police Confiscate Banksy Balloons and Say They’re Not Art

BANKSY-articleLarge Two men, who were later arrested, trying to remove a work by Banksy, the British street artist, in Long Island City, Queens, on Oct. 31. Photo by: Maurice Pinzon

By: Cara Buckley and J.David Goodman
November 5th, 2013

Banksy! is still in police custody — that is, the balloons that spell the British street artist’s name, as well as an exclamation point, are. And they may never get out.

Confiscated by the police from would-be thieves, the inflatable letters, which were Banksy’s parting gift to New York after a monthlong “residency,” have been impounded by the New York Police Department’s property clerk division.

Read more: here.

I guess this takes-”Getting Popped” to a whole new level.
Thanks to the NY Times for linking our “Fake Banksy” story.

And if you can’t get enough Banksy, don’t worry, you can start your print collection at Walmart.

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