For Banksy's 22nd piece in New York, the street artist has created an installation in a polluted body of water in Queens. Today's work for "Better Out Than In" is Banky's version of the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt, a monumental work built under the rule of Pharaoh Khafr between 2558–2532 BC.
Banksy writes a playful caption on his website for the new work: "Everything but the kitchen Sphinx. 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."
While Banky's sphinx mimics the head of the original, the British artist's version has a skull for a face instead of living features. Banksy's work is a macabre version of the oldest monument in the world. Placed in a trash-filled puddle in Queens, the icon of civilization and culture has fallen from greatness. Alternately, by using decaying cinderblocks to build his Sphinx, Banksy also shows greatness growing from the city's detritus.
UPDATE OCT. 22 12:18 A.M. ET: Animal New York found the Banksy Sphinx at 127th Street and 35th Avenue in Willets Point.
UPDATE OCT. 22 3:52 P.M. ET: A man (in red below) who witnessed "two hipsters" dropping off the new Banksy this morning has declared the piece his, and has parked a lawn chair next to the sculpture. He has been selling cinderblock bricks from the statue for about $100 each. He also took a peek inside the Sphinx and declared that it is made of foam on the inside. Jennifer Hunt (pictured below) talked on the phone with Sotheby's, claiming to help sell the sculpture as well. As Gothamist points out, because this work is on public property it's anyone's game who will rake in the cash for the sale.
UPDATE OCT. 22 4:57 P.M. ET: The Banksy Sphinx is no more. Bernardo Valez, the (the man in red above) helped load the work into a truck, taking it off the streets.