Banksy Ponders Sponsored Content


In October of 2013, enigmatic street artist Banksy embarked on a month-long residency in New York City. During the artist’s visit, one of his installations—a modified thrift store landscape—sold for over $600,000. Since his departure from New York, Banksy has begun to consider accepting corporate sponsorship for future works of art. His motives remain unknown. Some experts speculate he is making a comment on the elitism of the art world’s financial structure. Others insist Banksy is simply selling out at the pinnacle of his cultural and financial cachet. An anonymous source has leaked artist’s notes on potential corporately financed projects. Below are several excerpts from these notes.

– A statue of a businessman stands in the middle of a crowded city square, a burning kerchief tucked into his shirt. Several robotic hobos warm their hands around him. The image satirizes the ludicrous tension that the rich feel amongst the less fortunate. “Hot Pocket,” the vagabonds warble, as they rub their brittle fingers together. How to keep hankie burning? Will ask magician friend.

– In the dead of night, the artist wraps an enormous King Kong puppet around the Empire State Building. The installation itself suggests our nation’s continued vulnerability; national security is an illusion. At noon the following day a prop plane shaped like a Gillette Mach 3 razor flies by and removes a swatch of hair from the ape. May be tough to pull off, but people would shit.

– Suspended from the ceiling of the Museum of Natural History is a large ceramic Mobius strip, evoking the infinite potential of science. The sculpture is draped in fettuccini. From a speaker, the voice of a carnival barker exhorts passersby to step up and view the Never Ending Pasta Bowl, only $11.99 at the Olive Garden. Boom.

– A pie painted on the windowsill of each window of a foreclosed home, contrasting the coziness and domesticity of fresh baked goods against the harsh economic reality of the present day. Across the boarded up front door: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Might be too brilliant.

– Several trees spray-painted on the wall of a Brooklyn warehouse in a neighborhood where there is, ironically, little vegetation. The silhouette of a woodsman stands beside each tree. Instead of an axe, he holds a can of Axe Body Spray. The shadow of a beautiful woman is making love to each tree. Sexy but also thought-provoking.

– A guillotine, blade lowered, sits in the center of a park. The head of the Burger King king rests in a basket nearby. Scrawled on the closest fence:

“Viva la Wendy-lution!”

A little punny, maybe. Worth the payoff?

– Portrait of Christopher Columbus holding a GPS while slaughtering actual Indians in India. Does anyone even use GPS anymore, though? It’s all on peoples’ phones now. Must Google later.

– A twenty-car pileup on a major highway. An automated clown circles the wreckage on a CitiBike. That’s got to say something about environmentalism.

– Outside the Bronx Zoo, a mural depicting two paunchy men crushing a small lupine creature beneath their work boots, a reflection of man’s disregard for nature. In large block letters above them: “DADS on FOX.” Possibly too literal. Probably not though.

– A circle of animatronic monks surrounds a Ford F-150, chanting. Isn’t it wacky that they’re worshipping a truck? That’s bananas! The monks could represent JD Power and his Associates. Would people get that? I bet people would get that.

– Two giant middle fingers painted beside the front door of a Bank of America. It’s like, “Fuck this bank! Banks are evil!” But also, “Go inside this bank! You’ve got to put your money somewhere, right? Otherwise your brother will steal it from under your mattress and use it to buy weed again.”

– I don’t know, like…a snake eating its own tail. And then both snakes barfing up each other’s tails. Then the snakes are kissing on the cover of Maxim magazine. I guess that wouldn’t sell too many copies of Maxim. It would move hella black light posters, though.