While I have had it in my mind to start this review for a while, I did not premeditate this particular post to be the first; however, sometimes we must follow the path in which inspiration strikes. We all have our own beliefs about what happens when we die, but let’s think for a minute on the same vein for something arguably not alive—art. For as many art pieces that we see in museums, there are probably 100 times that existing elsewhere—on the streets, in studios, in schools, and stuck to refrigerators. Some art might win prizes, but a lot will never even scrape the surface of public attention and may be tossed away without a second glance. We cannot mourn the life of art lost that we never knew existed, but we can seek to understand why it is ok for art to move on. Who better to learn from than a street artist whose art is by very nature fleeting?
By now, street artist Banksy is more than halfway through his month-long New York residency, Better Out Than In. Even though some of his works have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, Banksy is equally as vulnerable to a kid with a can of spray paint as any other street artist. His first work in the NYC residency included a telephone number that when dialed, explained, “Before you, you will see a spray art by the artist Ban-sky…or maybe not, it’s probably been painted over by now.” Prophesy foretold, the work is no more.
Yet, we can’t let its passing upset us or keep Banksy from doing what he does best. The artist knows that they can put their heart and soul into a piece and have it last for only a few minutes, but they do it anyway. Street art is like a cherry blossom—it creates a bang and then disappears forever. Yet, the transience may actually give it more clout than if it was a permanent fixture. It is only human nature to want to hold on to things…if we don’t see an exhibition before it closes, we consider it “missed.” Regardless, Banksy’s works always leave a lasting impression. Instead of mourning what is in the past, we need to just open our eyes and look at the art happening all around us. Who knows, we might even be the first to see a Banksy…or we might be lucky enough to see Banksy himself!
For more on Better Out Than In, check out http://www.banksyny.com