Today for Better Out Than In, Banksy revealed the above balloon piece in Brooklyn. The photos on his site look a bit better, but I have used the above image of my friend Saki Waki because I want to show how this piece is really about audience interaction. On the first day of the show, I wondered if Banksy was maybe using the individual works in this show as props to make a larger point. If we look at the works so far, with this one and the box truck being prime examples, Better Out Than In seems to be at least in part about the spectacle and the crowds that Banksy’s work attracts. The box truck was meant to be a display of calmness, but this is what it looked like once people found out where the piece was parked. Today’s piece is of course reminiscent of Banksy’s classic Balloon Girl image, but now the girl is missing and the audience has to participate to complete the work (the balloon reference also lends credence to Hrag Vartanian’s idea that the show might be Banksy’s version of a retrospective). Other works in Better Out Than In point to the show being about crowds in less obvious ways. With the Random graffiti given a Broadway makeover series, Banksy drew out massive crowds to look at what was essentially the crappiest graffiti in New York City. So, that’s my current theory: The show is about the spectacle that Banksy can create and the crowds (including bloggers like me) that he can manipulate.
For today’s + 5, we have work by ASVP and some unknown artists: