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Better Out Than In: Banksy Vs. New York City's Hucksters, Skeptics, Kids and Dogs

by Abby Zimet

Now about midway through a month-long "residency" on the streets of New York, Banksy's daily works have sparked the diverse reactions you'd expect from the city: big crowds, local artists painting over his stuff, two guys charging 20 bucks to take pictures of his stuff, kids crying at his "Sirens of the Lambs" meat truck packed with squealing stuffed animals en route to the slaughterhouse, sharp-eyed observers excitedly tweeting they'd found Banksy and/or his warehouse, and a dog peeing on his 9/11 tribute (with a crowd taking pictures.) His best prank: setting up a booth in Central Park selling original Banksy works, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for 60 bucks. At (slow) day's end, the bored guy manning the booth had made four sales (one for a hard-bargained-for 50% discount) totalling $420. Lesson: branding is all.