While we’re thrilled that Banksy’s put up a new work that Bushwick can call its very own, the incomparable international man of mystery has, as usual, left us with lots of questions about this contribution to the street art mecca we call home. Looking for answers, Bushwick Daily reached out to our neighbor Jowy Romano, the street art aficionado behind Subway Art Blog and Zine, who was able to give us some perspective on the new addition to Stanwix St (which is already buffed, btw).
Bushwick Daily: You described this Banksy piece as a ‘forced collabo’–what’s the etiquette around forcing a collaboration in street art? Do you think the original taggers would mind, in this situation?
Jowy Romano: I think he is being pretty cautious, or just making fun of the crappy tags he “enhanced”. The targets for these collaborations were most certainly not done by serious graffiti writers. If he chose to target a real graffiti bomber’s work, the beef would be hitting the fan. According to Banksy’s site, the series is called “Random graffiti given a Broadway makeover.”
BD: There’s another big street art piece that references Occupy Wall Street in Bushwick–but you say it’s unlikely that the two pieces have anything to do with each other. Can you tell us a little more about that?
JR: The “Occupy Walls” piece in Bushwick was done by a street artist called BAMN, who is known for doing really politically conscious murals. In the case of the Banksy piece, I’m pretty sure the word “OCCUPY” was written by an Occupy Wall Street movement member before Banksy added “The Musical” to it. Again, I think Banksy targeted this tag because knew he could do it without disrespecting the NY graffiti scene. Banksy’s piece appears to be more about making fun of musicals than anything else. In contrast, the huge BAMN paint roller piece is clearly political charged.
BD: Do you think that we can expect to see any more Banksy stuff in Bushwick during his residency? Street art in Bushwick is pretty networked, and Banksy would be likely to avoid going through official channels to maintain his anonymity, right?
JR: I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns to North Brooklyn to do more work—it’s the epicenter of street art in New York City. That being said, I don’t think he will try to get sanctioned murals while he is in town; that’s just not his style, and would totally jeopardize his anonymity.
BD: What’s your personal take on the Banksy Bushwick pieces–and how do you think it fits in with his oeuvre, and with the street art context it’s in in Bushwick?
JR: I don’t think these are as strong as his first few New York pieces. I guess he is making fun of how we turn anything into a musical these days—from superheroes to dead Playboy Playmates—but I think he fell short. I hope Bushwick sees some more exciting stuff from him in the coming days.
BD: Is there anything else that people might be interested to know about the Banksy piece and its Bushwick context?
JR: Banksy needs to think harder about the work he puts up in Brooklyn. He generally does work that caters more towards people who don’t see street art every day. As Bushwick residents, we see lots of great street art on every block. He needs to step up his game if he really wants to stand out here.
You heard it here first! For more from Jowy, check out Subway Art Blog–and stay tuned for news of an upcoming SAB project that will make it much easier to get acquainted with all of the incredible street art Bushwick has to offer!!