In case you haven't heard, Banksy announced a New York residency (on October 1 via his new website, Twitter, and Instagram) called "Better Out Than In," where each day he creates and shares a new art piece in the streets of New York. So far, he's done murals in Chinatown, the Westside, Midtown, and Bushwick, but now, he's set up an open truck, called Mobile Waterfall, in the East Village at 139 2nd Avenue, where viewers can see a jungle scene with a bridge and sun in the background.
The piece resembles Banksy's October 2008 piece (and first real "exhibition" in New York), Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, where he set up a window display at 89 7th Avenue in the West Village showing a sleeping leopard, McDonald's chicken nuggets shaped like animals, a bunny looking in a mirror, breaded fish, hot dogs under heat lamps, and many other strange situations in a less than 300-square-foot space. Unlike his murals, which seem to get destroyed, altered, or removed as soon as they go up, these experiential installation works give viewers more to see, navigate, and think about.
The map below shows where the Mobile Waterfall is tonight, but according to Banksy, it's touring daily. It reminds us of the premiere of Kanye West's "New Slaves" in May, which was projected from trucks all over the world and made people get outside to find the video and watch it. It's also similar to Marcel Duchamp's 1946-1966 piece Étant donnés, which was considered his last major artwork (and which he made in his Greenwich Village studio in secret after 25 years of people thinking that he gave up art to play chess). The piece is a tableau that requires viewers to look through two peep holes to see a woman lying down nude against a landscape with a similar color palette and vegetation as Banksy's new work.
Regardless of who he's referencing or trying to attract, Banksy is shaking up New York with this outdoor art exhibition. It'll be exciting to see what he does next.
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UPDATE OCT. 7, 8:52 P.M. ET: We spotted Banksy's truck at Lafayette and Jersey Streets in SoHo tonight.