Yesterday, one of our commenters posted the website banksylax.com on our news post about Banksy's 23rd day of his New York residency. The comment read, "Coincidence this website popped up the same day he didn't do any art?" with the link to a site that suggests a Banksy residency in L.A. The site includes a countdown to the alleged December launch and the title "BETTER LA THAN NYC." We reached out to Jo Brooks, the PR woman who represented Banksy in his interview with the Village Voice, via email, who told us that the site was definitely fake.
We're not surprised that the site is fake—it's way too obvious for Banksy's style—but we do wonder why there haven't been more imposter Banksy websites. For example, the domain name iambanksy.com is for sale, and realbanksy.com doesn't even exist. We thought someone would have done something clever with these by now—just imagine what could be done with banksy.biz!
At least one person, Instagram user @CapNYC, has launched a site hinged on Banksy's New York shenanigans. Freebanksyny.com is dedicated to "help the movement to free the greatest street artist ever to grace NYC." Bucky Turco of Animal New York, points out in a heated Instagram post that Banksy most likely hasn't been caught by the police, who are definitely looking for him, (and the fact that he put up a piece today would back that claim).
Banksy's New York residency is occurring just as much (if not more so) on social media as it is on the streets, so it makes sense that conversations around the British street artist are hosted on the Internet. Also, just like real world Banksy imposters, why wouldn't there be fake Banksy sites?
For Banksy's 23rd day in New York, he "cancelled" his piece, naming "police activity" as a reason for the interruption in his residency. If we look at this 23rd Instagram as a work of art, Banksy is really creating a truly multidimensional exhibition—on the streets and the Internet. And what both have in common is that they are democratic mediums that everyone can experience equally, not the white walls of museums or galleries. And isn't that what street art is all about? Maybe Banksy should switch over to the Internet entirely. Then people couldn't auction off his work for millions.