Has New York taken a stand against graffiti?
No more than a day after a new daubing by British graffiti artist Banksy had been sprayed on to a wall in New York City, someone has covered the piece up with paint. After announcing his month-long residency in the city, the artist's first work depicted two boys holding a spray can and reaching up to a notice that read "Graffiti Is A Crime."
The piece was spotted on the 1st October but by the 2nd someone, perhaps the owner of the wall, had painted over it, reports BBC News. It is not known whether the building's owner was aware that Banksy had chosen their wall but the incident reignites the long discussion over whether the artist's work is art or crime.
Pieces known to have been sprayed by Banksy have been known to have been chiselled off walls in order to sell them. Original Banksy pieces have been reported to have sold for hundreds of thousands as the mysterious artist's name has grown in fame and notoriety.
Banksy's second known NYC piece was spotted a day later on a garage door and reads "This is my New York accent" in stereotypical graffiti writing under which read "I normally write like this" printed in neat, cursive style text. A third instalment, known as 'Better Out Than In' depicts a silhouetted dog urinating against a fire hydrant that has a thought bubble coming out of it reading "You complete me..."
Known for his thought-provoking and often ascerbic works that lampoon the establishment and law officials, Banksy has built up a reputation upon notoriety, his anonymity and the uncertainty of where he will choose to plant one of his highly-regarded pieces next.
Controversy Surrounds Banksy's Many Graffiti Pieces.
Last summer, Banksy's 'Slave Art' mural was stripped from a wall in London and put on a US auction site for $450,000 which infuriated the UK fans of the artist. Stencilled on to a Wood Green Poundland's wall, the piece depicted a child at a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting. Though the piece was protected by a Perspex screen, someone chiselled it off the wall and put it up for auction.
Despite local councillors and residents lobbying to have the piece returned, it eventually sold for £750,000 pounds ($1.1 million), according to Business Week.