NYC locals and international fans of (in)famous graffiti artist Banksy have been buzzing since last Wednesday, March 14th, with the appearance of an iconic rat painted on the clock face of a soon-to-be-demolished building on W. 14th Street. Rife with Bansky’s signature grey and black stencil designs, pictures of the rat appeared shortly thereafter on Banksy’s Instagram page @banksy, where the artist posted two pictures – one detail and one scene shot showing a building at the intersection of 6th Ave and 14th Street – with the design.
The following day, on Thursday, March 15th, the artist posted another series of pictures on his Instagram – this time of imprisoned Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Dogan with the hashtag #FREEzehradogan.
With the appearance of two murals in less than 24 hours, many wondered if the artist was coming back for another artistic “residency” in the city like the month-long one he had back in 2013.
Now, it appears that speculation is becoming fact, as just over two hours ago the artist posted yet another series of images on his Instagram showing a newly-stenciled mural located in Coney Island.
This time, the image appears to be a wealthy contractor/constructionist – whose black profile is eerily-similar to Donald Trump – using a red line graph trending upwards as a sort of “whip” to herd out minorities, children, and the elderly, causing some to wonder if this socially-charged street artist is making commentary about gentrification.
Banksy’s art is often tongue-in-cheek and highly political, usually revolving around issues of social justice and class warfare. He has made works of art around the world commenting on international hot-button issues such as Guantanamo Bay, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and famine in Darfur.
The artist, whose identity remains unknown and consistently generates heavy speculation, often uses his Instagram account as a way to announce his new installations. Prior to his arrival in New York a few days ago, the last time the artist posted was on January 26th.
Stay tuned to find out if Banksy has yet again made NYC his temporary playground – and New Yorkers, keep your eyes open for any new works of art popping up in our city. And if you’ve seen these works in person, your thoughts/impressions are welcomed in the comments!