Mysterious graffiti artist Banksy has been fascinating the world since the early 1990s, where his satirical street art are dynamic visual comments on society and its behaviour. In our article Art Is Not A Crime which you can read here, we delved into how street art is a necessity as a stark reminder of how far society still has to go.
In the documentary BANKSY TAKES NY, we see Banksy descend on New York to begin a 30 day residency in which he paints and creates new works in new areas of the city while posting clues about it online. The focus of the documentary isn’t really through one lens, but, rather, taken from Youtube clips, news clips, talking heads, and personal experiences posted online.
It’s an interesting experiment that struggles only because of the varying scales of Banksy’s works over the course of his 30 day residency. The memorable parts of the documentary are of those works that involve chaos or ignorance, climaxing with the highlight of the film that sees Banksy sell his art for $60 to a random vendor without revealing the location to any followers. Over the course of a few hours, the vendor sells $480 of works and packs up for the day. While this sounds simple, it’s revealed that each work is valued at $250,000 each. These are the slices of gold that eke out of this short and sweet documentary. The showcases of the New York boroughs are nice, providing a short insight into the cultures that exist under the titan-sized city. This in itself is more than enough to make this film stand out as a quick study of human behaviour as well as an entertaining, well-paced piece of cinema.