Friday, October 25, 2013

Banksy does Hustler Club in Hells Kitchen

waiting in vain..

at the door of the club

After a one-day hiatus, street artist Banksy returned today with a stencil on the door of the Hustler Club in Hell's Kitchen.
The work depicts a man wearing a tux and holding a wilting bouquet of flowers. On Banksy's website, it's accompanied by the caption "Waiting in vain... at the door of the club."

The Village Voice interprets the picture as  " a stencil of a guy with a bouquet of flowers waiting for a stripper to leave the club."

The New York Post reports:

Hustler Club marketing director Steve Karel said: “We’re honored that Banksy chose the Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club New York to share his art.”
Karel also said that “while we’d love to leave the work in place, it’s required we lift the gate when we open for business.”
“So after the public has the day to enjoy it, we will remove the door to keep it safe from vandals until we determine where it can be displayed in the future — hopefully inside of the club.”

A Hustler Club source said the place was locked up at 6:15 a.m., but someone came and hung a tarp over the gate two minutes later, then spent 43 minutes behind it.
Beefy guards were quickly posted to protect the potential goldmine.
Earlier this year, a Banksy mural removed from the side of a London building sold for $1.1 million.
Several dancers posed for photos with the Banksy just before workers began removing the gate for safekeeping around 6:30 p.m.

Almost immediately after the graffiti artist unveiled his latest creation on the side of a West Side jiggle joint, a nearby sign company began hawking magnets and prints of the spray-painted image Thursday morning.
Dean Landry, of Certified Graphics on West 51st Street, said he spotted the piece on a rolldown gate at the entrance to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club while walking to work around 8 a.m., then grabbed a camera and snapped some photos.
“We were printing by 8:30,” Landry said.
The rush products were offered at $5 for a 3-by-4-inch magnet, $10 for a 6-by-9 version and $20 for an 11-by-17 print, and got snapped up by many of the hundreds of Banksy fans who flocked to the Hell’s Kitchen site.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

UPDATED - Banksy’s Tuesday October 22th the Sphinx in the Bronx

 Street artist Banksy stayed another day in the Bronx,

He writes on his blog:

"No turn unstoned. A 1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks.You're advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water."

The New York post reports:

The three-foot-tall monument is standing guard outside a lot full of concrete blocks and cargo containers, its gaze fixed directly on the Mets’ Citi Field stadium about a block away.
And unlike Banksy’s other street-side works — most of which have been attacked by vandals — this one is surrounded by a 25-foot-wide moat of fetid water that’s more than an ankle deep, one of several large puddles along 127th Street.

The base of the sculpture appears to have been built from junk littering the area, with the face made of cement.
Bernardo Veles, who owns a nearby auto-glass shop, said the the masonry material was still wet when he touched it around 7 a.m.
“When I left last night, just after 9, there was nothing.  Just a big empty puddle,” said Veles, 27.
“At 6 this morning, my guys saw it and asked me what it was.  There are no marks, no truck pulled into the water.  Someone carried in the stone and built it piece by piece.”
“This place is empty at night, like a ghost town” he added.
“I am one of the last guys around and I leave at 8 or 9 every night. He must have done it in the middle of the night.”

Wikipedia tells us: `The Great Sphinx of Giza (Arabic: أبو الهول‎ Abū al Hūl, English: The Terrifying One), commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.'

"No turn unstoned"

"to leave no turn unstoned" is a spoonerism. A spoonerism is an error in speech, or deliberate play on words, in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase. In this case, a play on `leave no stone unturned' -(which is interesting phrase for Banksy to play with, since so many in New York are searching in all possible places for his work.)

 While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue resulting from unintentionally getting one's words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a  a deliberate play on words.

This particular spoonerism "to leave no turn unstoned" was used by the multi-talented Irish playwrite George Bernard Shaw  who wrote "A dramatic critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned" ( which could be reduced to "A critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned"; meaning- critics will have something negative to say about everything).

This would be a way for Banksy to say that he understands that those critical of his work (such as Mayor Bloomberg) will be critical no matter what form his work takes.

Bloomberg commented about Banksy saying: "Art is art, and nobody's a bigger supporter of the arts than I am. I just think there are some places for art and there are some places [not for] art. And you running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted."


Hours after Banksy's sculpture was announced, the piece got loaded into the back of a giant moving truck, and taken away.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Banksy’s Monday October 21th South Bronx

Street artist Banksy is spending a month in New York putting up graffiti art and staging `scenes'  for his show entitled Better Out Than In
Banksy paid a visit to the South Bronx for today's work.

The stencil plays on what appears to be existing graffiti, which reads "Ghetto 4 Life." Banksy added a young spray-painter and his butler. This picture may be taken to be a bit of self deprecation.
Banksy has come under criticism from other graffiti artist, some whom claim that he sold out by selling his work in the `art market' where prints have sold for upwards of $500,000 at auctions (including a work titled "I Can't Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit") and original works have sold for well over a million dollars.  Many critics assume that the once poor Banksy is now rich. This has prompted anti- Banksy signs to pop up around New York:

Though other graffiti artist have added their tags to the wall after Banksy's work.
Within hours work men were photographed measuring the new Monday October 21th Banksy' picture in preparation for a plexiglass cover to protect the work.

This is the second time Banksy has struck the South Bronx. Last week Banksy's his traveling fiberglass Ronald McDonald statue, and shoe-shine boy were in the neighborhood.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Banksy’s Sunday October 20th Upper West Side New York {UPDATED}

Though initial attacks on @Banksy's work was rebuffed by onlookers- by evening it was covered in plexiglass. The some time in the night the piece was tagged with the phrase "Let the Streets Decide".

Lucky visitors on Sunday did get to `experience' the United Kingdom-based graffiti artist's work.

Banksy is spending a month in New York putting up graffiti art and staging `scenes'  for his show entitled Better Out Than In. 

While many street art enthusiasts have welcomed the graffiti art, New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he does not consider the work art and the illegal activity 'should not be permitted'. At the same time Rival graffiti artists, angered by a new presence on their 'turf', have raced to destroy the works.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pablo Picasso Artwork May Be Destroyed in Norway

A government panel in Oslo, Norway has recommended tearing down buildings damaged in a 2011 terrorist attack  when a car bomb was detonated in front of the building housing the Prime Minister's office in the Regjeringskvartalet (Government Quarter), killing eight people and damaging surrounding Brutalist buildings by Erling Viksjø.

 Since the attack, the buildings have been abandoned—fenced off behind white protective tape with broken windows—while the government decides what to do with them According to the BBC, a poll by the newspaper Verdens Gang shows 39.5% in favor of demolition and 34.3% against (no details on what the rest of the polled favored).

 The buildings are two of this city’s signature   examples of Brutalist architecture ( from the French béton brut, or "raw concrete"- a style of architecture that flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s.) The buildings were designed by Norwegian architect Erling Viksjø (1910 – 1971) . Viksjo' design " attempts to process the modernist tradition to create a new monumentality where concrete expressive development potential and an integrated artistic decoration are key".

The "integrated artistic decoration" in the two buildings up for demolition are five murals painted by Pablo Picasso —the artist's first works executed in concrete.

Proponents of demolition plan on taking down the murals brick by brick and reconstructing them elsewhere. But preservationists point out that the murals are site specific, designed by Picasso for these particular buildings.

The Picasso Administration calls idea of removing the artwork and tearing down the buildings"unbelievable".

The the National Museum in Oslo, is also against the buildings destruction. They opened an exhibition in June called Picasso — Oslo. Art and Architecture in the Government Buildings. The following is the very informative the text from the exhibit:

Works of Pablo Picasso in Oslo, Norway, threatened by demolishment.

“The Fishermen” mural by Picasso and Carl Nesjar
 (photograph by Helge Høifødt, via 

In Oslo city the government building ("H-blokka") is like an exclamation mark; a monument over the development of the welfare state of Norway after the Second World War. The high rise building is also a result of the breakthrough of modernism in official Norwegian architecture in the 1950s. The art decorations in natural concrete were novel, radical and sensational at its time, and the architecture and artwork are intimately and indivisibly connected.

It was the Norwegian architect Erling Viksjø who together with civil engineer Sverre Jystad introduced natural concrete as a new building material. The Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar was in charge of the artwork on the natural concrete walls of the new government building. In 1957 he invited Pablo Picasso to participate in the concrete art work, and the well known and admired artist said yes. Pablo Picasso was very intriguied by this new material, and he made 3 unique drawings for the building walls, which Carl Nesjar performed by sandblasting the concrete. Pablo Picasso was excited.

Carl Nesjar sandblasting the concrete

A fourth motive was made after the already known theme, Picasso’s Satyr, Faun and Centaur, now in The Museum of Picasso in Antibes. During the work process Carl Nesjar decided to leave out the Centaur figure. He had to meet with Picasso again to confess to his deed, but Picasso agreed with Nesjar that the wall and stone work was better off without the figure.

The cooperation between Carl Nesjar and Pablo Picasso developed and continued for 17 years until Picasso’s death in 1973. Their cooperation in the Governmental building in Oslo has been a prerequisite for Picasso’s official monumental art in the times to come. Apart from Oslo, we find Picasso’s monumental work in Barcelona, New York, Stockholm, Paris, and Jerusalem.

(photograph by W. Råger, via Oslo Museum)
Technical investigations of “H-blokka” after the bombing in Oslo in July 22nd 2011 show that the building’s constructions are safe and the integrated art work is intact.  The symbolism in both architecture and art are not of less importance today than before the attack on the Norwegian state and political system.

The Government has decided that the Norwegian ministries are to be situated together in and around the present government quarter. "H-blokka" is now under the threat of being demolished, to give room for new, bigger and modern governmental buildings. Others claim "H-blokka" may be preserved and be part of a larger scale development in the area. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage are amongst them that strongly insist on its conservation.

The exhibition is a contribution to the current debate on government building future fate. It demonstrates the quarter's architecture, historical and artistic qualities, in international format, with emphasis on Pablo Picasso's works.

Curator: Karin Hellandsjø

Art Talk is Back after a long vacation!

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