NEW YORK – It’s October in New York City, which means changing leaves, chilly temperatures, and apparently, now 31 days of Banksy? Yes, that enigmatic British street artist has been alternating inspiring cheers of joy and groans of jadedness with his “Better Out Than In,” a New York City residency where he creates a new piece in a different neighborhood every day in October.
So far, they’ve encompassed everything from a Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined by a boy outside a McDonald’s in the South Bronx, to a dog urinating on a fire hydrant with the words “you complete me” floating above in a comic book bubble. The media coverage has constant and impressive. If, like me, you enjoy and respect Banksy, but need a break from the hype, a similarly anonymous artist is here for you. His name is Hanksy.
Hanksy started with pasting Tom Hanks’ face in various incarnations, usually over existing Banksy pieces, but now includes other celebrities and original work. His website title is Hansky Street Fartist. He is a lover of puns and wheat paste, and while not nearly as famous as his British counterpart, it’s easier to see his work without crowds. Most recently, he put James Gandalfini’s face over a gray wizard cloak and staff, and called him Gandolfini. It was a lovingly irreverent tribute to the late actor. This was first spotted on Mulberry Street, but I’ve also caught him on Orchard just below Grand.
Around the corner is Bryan Cranston over a bald eagle’s wings, which appeared shortly before Breaking Bad’s final episode. Even street artists love their television. Other works include Ted Dancin‘ featuring Ted Danson mid-jump.
His work doesn’t ignite either Banksy’s controversy or his crowds, but in a month of constant coverage, it’s nice to just be able to laugh.
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