Banksy Does Rare Interview With the "Village Voice"

The unknown street artist speaks up.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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In what seems like the plot of a spy thriller or cyberpunk novel, the Village Voice received an email last month that was the first link of a virtual chain to the most anonymous artist around—Banksy. The woman who sent the email, British publicist Jo Brooks, reached out to the Village Voice on behalf of the street artist for an extremely rare interview.

Despite being a notoriously unreachable, Banksy chose to open up to the Village Voice, Brooks wrote via email, because he "feels an affinity with people who provide quality content for free on street corners."

The Village Voice sent over a series of interview questions, many of which Banksy ignored, and through Brooks, Banksy spoke about his New York residency, "Better Out Than In." For the residency, Banksy will put up a graffiti piece each day in October. So far, his works have been painted over and torn down within a few hours.

"There is absolutely no reason for doing this show at all," Banksy wrote to the Village Voice of his residency. "I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There's no gallery show or book or film. It's pointless. Which hopefully means something."

Banksy's financial success has been something the artist is increasingly struggling with. It has become a Catch-22 of the street art world. "But there's no way round it—commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist," he writes. "We're not supposed to be embraced in that way. When you look at how society rewards so many of the wrong people, it's hard not to view financial reimbursement as a badge of self-serving mediocrity."

Whether you find him a Warholian sell out or a graffiti hero, there's no escaping the craze surrounding his New York residency. It's irresistible to keep an eye out for his newest works—either online or on the streets.

Read the whole interview in the Village Voice here.

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RELATED: Banksy Announces Artist's Residency on the Streets of New York

[via Village Voice]

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