As the third week of British street artist Banksy’s New York City pseudo-residency, “Better Out Than In,” nears the end of its first week, the secretive artist has hung a pair of collaborative paintings he made with the Brazilian duo Os Gêmeos under the High Line on West 24th Street — just a block from the second work of his residency. The two paintings, which also serve as alternate covers of a recent issue of the Village Voice that boasted an exclusive interview with the artist, are hanging in a gravel lot that has been roped off, with only a few people allowed near the works at a time, all under the watch of a full security detail.
In addition to the two paintings — one featuring a Banksy figure in riot gear surrounded by colorful Os Gêmeos characters, the other boasting the inverse — the installation features a crude cinderblock bench, a tagged-up water cooler containing what looks like urine (“complimentary refreshments,” according to Banksy’s blog), and a pair of graffiti-covered traffic cones with a velvet rope stretched between them.
Within an hour of the work being revealed online the scene was already mobbed, with a crowd four people deep standing around in hopes of getting in, and many more joining them. According to Banksy’s blog, the works will be on view until October 20, from 11am to midnight. The high-profile installation coincides with a big week for Os Gêmeos, as well, as the duo of Brazilian twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo just joined Lehmann Maupin’s roster.
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photos by the author.)