A Creative Review: Banksy in NYC
Welcome back to A Creative Review with James Cooper. Today Coop is all about Banksy!
This October throughout NYC, the only word on the street was Banksy. I have a love hate relationship with him as I’m sure many people do. Some of what he does is incredibly insightful (Wall and Piece) but other work seems to miss the mark. Most of the work this month has left me a little cold.
Why? Because I want him to really cause trouble. He accuses the Freedom Tower of being a ‘Shy Scraper’ and that New York has lost it’s nerve by allowing such a tame building to take the place of the Twin Towers. I can see that, for sure. But I think you could argue that most of the pieces he has done this month - by his own very high standards have been a little ‘shy’ too.
All photos courtesy BanksyNY
For a man who hates advertising and brands, he is of course now one of the most famous brands out there. And now, every single piece of work he does is an ad. He may not like that, but he can’t dislike it that much because he keeps on doing it.
Many moons ago the Beastie Boys ripped VW signs from cars and put them on gold chains. They gave VW instant credibility. Kids were stealing a brand message. There have been a few reports of people stealing Banksy’s work and I love this video of a guy in the Lower East Side charging people to take pictures. Why not? Everyone is trying to make a buck.
You will see a ton of pieces in the next few weeks / months / years about how brands should behave like Banksy. Of course, most of it is nonsense. He is cool because he is illegal and he is cool because he is scarce. No normal brand with boxes on the shelf or services for sale can actually act like that.
But we shouldn’t think about these things too hard. VW was Hitler’s car brand. Surely someone must have pointed that out to the Beastie Boys, but maybe they were too busy having fun. That’s still my advice for brands using outdoor. Why so serious?
That’s all folks! Want to get involved? Send us shots of the best [or worst] outdoor advertising you’ve seen, and we’ll choose one every week. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.