Review: Banksy Does New York | Virgin Media
Review: Banksy Does New York

Review: Banksy Does New YorkAired Wednesday 16th March at 10pm on Sky Arts (CH 122) | Rating: ★★★★☆

17/03/2016TV

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An uber-contemporary crowd-sourced epic, this film assembled bits and pieces from all conceivable media to build up a thrilling collage of the mysterious artist’s assault on the New York art scene.

In a nutshell

Banksy is a Marmite sort of guy, arousing adoration and annoyance in equal measure. To some he’s an intriguing faceless provocateur whose subversive images become instantly iconic, while to others he’s a peddler of trite, easily digestible “messages” about corporate evil, big bad governments, and oh look – gay coppers snogging. But however you see him, there’s no denying he’s that rare thing: a proper artist who’s also a household name. And, unlike Hirst and Emin, he’s retained his mystique (mainly because no one knows what he looks like).

In 2013, Banksy hit New York to post a new image a day, across the five boroughs. It triggered a media frenzy as fans started scouring the streets in the hope of discovering his work. It was like some massive hipster Easter egg hunt, and this documentary put together user-generated content – from Instagram photos to YouTube vids – to chronicle the whole extravaganza. The result is a snapshot, not just of an artistic moment but of an entire city’s zeitgeist, with other graffiti artists also contributing work and even a “villain” in the form of Mayor Bloomberg, who slammed Banksy for defacing public property. Can’t win ‘em all, eh?

What's the verdict?

A joyride through the Big Apple taking us across disparate neighborhoods for glimpses of Banksy’s signature images, this was a documentary for art fiends, culture vultures and New York lovers alike, even if Banksy’s own stuff isn’t really your cup of tea.

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