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Banksy Does New York- Movie Review

Banksy is a famously anonymous street artist who has a unique style of portraying political, cultural and other symbolic messages within graffiti and street art. During a month long residency in New York in October of 2013, Banksy would create one piece of street art per day in different locations around the city that never sleeps.

Banksy Does New York is a HBO documentary, directed by Chris Moukarbel. It contains a large collection of interviews with art critics, city council members, police officers and the general public.

The film jumps from people’s YouTube videos, iPhone footage and still photography, but has a strong focus on the public’s response to Banksy’s enterprise.

Most cinematography was excellent, with good lighting and use of colour.

Banksy left small clues on his website and Instagram page on where the artwork was placed. This made a scavenger-hunt like phenomenon, and people would scramble to try and be the first to see it. Social media was constantly buzzing with new pictures being posted to people’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Banksy Leopard

Banksy’s recognisable and iconic artwork is very much admired, to such a degree that people were stealing his work by cutting fences down, removing sculptures, moving bricks… you name it. The public would go to great lengths to get a hold of Banksy’s work and sell it privately, causing controversy with people who appreciate the art in its original placement.

In a city which claims to be the birth of graffiti, you would think there would be more respect for people’s artwork. Throughout the movie, Banksy’s graffiti was tagged over by other jealous graffiti artists who clearly were not happy with the popularity of Banksy’s art.

When Banksy graffitied on a wall or a door, sometimes even the crowds of people who flocked to see the famous art were enough to annoy building owners, who would remove the art themselves.

This was disappointing because Banksy’s style of street art was beautifully unique; not an ugly defacing of property which is more commonly seen.

Other building owners praised Bansky’s art, as it increased sales for shop owners, and made the building visually attractive.

Work By British Street Artist Banksy Continues To Appear On NYC Streets

Throughout the documentary, the audience jumps to a man and lady which film their eager hunt for Banksy’s street art. I think this was a good element to add to the documentary; however the man’s personality and voice were rather annoying.

I thought this film was made well, with a good insight to what it was like when Banksy was on the month-long residency in New York.

I rate Banksy Does New York 4 out of 5.

Written by Alison Hattley

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