Banksy continues his New York street art residency, "Better Out Than In," with a small mural of a bandaged balloon heart, shared via his new Instagram and website. It's a bit softer than the video he posted yesterday of rebel terrorists abusing Dumbo the elephant after shooting him down with a missile, but it's just as minimal as the three "The Musical" pieces he did (which were additions to existing graffiti).
Banksy has painted heart-shaped balloons before, such as his 2012 piece Girl With a Balloon in London. While many are wondering what inspired this project, others, like Jeffrey Deitch, have offered their thoughts on Banksy's legacy and why he or his work may irritate academic conceptualists. He says,
Academic conceptual art, much of it, in its sort of gallery-ready form, has difficulty connecting with a broad range of cultured people who are interested in visual culture. Banksy, who is very much a conceptual artist, works in a way that is very direct; he plays with media and with culture and gets it on so many levels and really is able to connect with people. So, some of the more academic conceptualists are worried about protecting their position: they see a Banksy coming out of nowhere, drawing 75,000 people to a pop-up show over three days and getting nominated for an Oscar for his film. How do you think the academic conceptualists feel when all their lives they have relied on the same old system of validation by certain respected critics, magazines, museums, and galleries? Banksy doesn’t need this validation system because his audience is reacting directly: there is no need for a critic’s validation anymore. Academic conceptualism, however, can only thrive with this kind of validation.
As RJ Rushmore points out on Vandalog, when speaking of Banksy's Rebel rocket attack video, "The Internet is a public space now. So much street art and art in general is made to be seen online be the same public that’s supposed to be seeing street art on the street."
The point is, Banksy's got people talking about the relationship between conceptual and street art and how the Internet, in many ways, can function like the street.
The address of the piece hasn't been identified yet, but many think that it's in Greenpoint. Just before he posted the Instagram, Banksy tweeted this...
Colouring outside the lines is a fine art— banksy (@banksyny) October 7, 2013
And we still have the rest of October to look forward to!
UPDATE OCT. 15 10:23 ET: After Banksy's work was tagged by Omar soon after going up, it was covered in Plexiglas to protect it, but the plastic casing was shattered shortly after, of course. A man also took it upon himself to stand guard in front of the piece all night. The Plexiglas has since been replaced by a steel box.