This photo for the New York post recently reminded me of this Banksy quote: “Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”
The well-known, seldom seen, British street artist Banksy has been all over the news lately – I don’t love graffiti in the name of defacing property, but it’s hard to argue with the funny, graphically appealing and sometimes subversive nature of his work. Is it art, nuisance or a destruction of property? It could be all of those things, but it does get us talking and looking at the world in which we live. Public art, be it commissioned or “un-commissioned” has always been controversial.
About five years ago the comedian Todd Lamb started carrying around typed notes that he signed from a fictional “Chris” who, unlike typical New Yorkers, seemed to have a lot of time on his hands and would be the kind of guy who might be willing to give you a ride to the airport during rush hour in exchange for conversation, snacks and some gas money. He quietly posted them in various parts of New York City. To me, they are a wonderful celebration of the mundane. Even if you’ve seen them before, I thought they might be worth looking at again in light of Banksy re-surfacing in NYC and the always close connection between public art and public eyesore.