On Banksy’s Fall 2013 Residency in New York

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Documenting the documenters during Banksy’s NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

It’s been just a little over a year since the world’s most high profile street artist, Banksy, manifested Better Out Than In, his October 2013 show in New York. His residency proved to be a runaway sensation, achieving an unprecedented media saturation by enthralling legions of increasingly rabid fans with a calculated, daily presentation of new pieces citywide. In all my years of documenting street art in New York, I’d never experienced anything quite like this residency. The month-long spectacle rolled out largely via social media, with seasoned documenters and newbie, self-proclaimed Banksy hunters alike sharing their experiences each day in a frenzied race against the clock and against the myriad forces that conspired to cut each piece’s longevity short. For those in the know, the #banksyny hashtag became the mainline for the daily Banksy infusion. And as documentation from each daily scene showed, many New Yorkers got hooked… on the art as well as the ensuing sideshow.

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

Via his well-respected Carnage imprint, fellow street photographer and long-time Banksy fan, Ray Mock, recently published Banksy in New York, an account of the residency from the point of view of a quintessential graffiti insider. I can’t recommend this volume enough.

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

And this past Friday, on the one year anniversary of the close of the residency, filmmaker Chris Mourkabel’s documentary Banksy Does New York was released on HBOGo, with the premiere, cable TV broadcast on HBO scheduled for Monday, November 17th at 9pm EST. The bulk of the footage for the film was crowd-sourced, allowing for multiple, unique perspectives on the residency as it unfolded. I’m honored to have been interviewed for the film alongside Jaime Rojo & Steve Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art, RJ Rushmore & Caroline Caldwell of Vandalog, Hrag Vartanian of Hyperallergic and others. You can watch a short trailer below:

Droid 907 x CarnageNYC

Sex or Suicide by Droid907
Sex or Suicide by Droid 907

Since his first release in 2011, Carnage has quickly made a name for himself as a purveyor of high quality graffiti zines. Aside from selling his own zines, he also distributes work by like-minded individuals, like the sold out Greetings from Detroit from earlier this year which presented images of Detroit by 5 photographers from New York and California. And now a limited run of Droid 907’s Sex or Suicide is available.

Droid 907's Sex or Suicide
Sex or Suicide by Droid 907

In Sex or Suicide Droid offers us a tantalizing glimpse into a world of sex, drugs and rocking rollers, interspersing stories of drunken encounters under bridges with the soul-baring recollections of a free spirit, photographs and numbered lists of names and phrases.

Sex or Suicide by Droid 907
Sex or Suicide by Droid 907

Carnage will be releasing his next zine, Lost in Shibuya, this coming Saturday, December 14, from 7-9pm at the City Reliquary (with an online release to follow on Monday, December 16). Please support these fine zinemakers.

Carnage

Atak x Bak (photo by Luna Park)

Street photographer Ray Mock (aka Sabeth718) has started putting out a great graff zine, Carnage. The inaugural issue focuses on Hert and Atak, with exclusive photos and interviews with both writers. At only $8, the edition of 200 is almost sold out – don’t sleep on this – you’ll be missing out.