Thursday, October 31, 2013

Banksy tags wall next to Yankee Stadium with piece called 'Bronx Zoo'

As Banksy's month-long takeover of New York's streets entered its final day Thursday, the so-called graffiti artist headed over to Yankee Stadium and left one of his celebrated tags across the street from The House That Jeter Built last night.

The work, according to his website, is called Bronx Zoo and is located across the street from the baseball stadium at East 162nd Street and Jerome Avenue. 

As fatigued as I am of this Brit taking over my city for 30 days and, as a Yankee fan, it's been equally as tiring to watch the Red Sox strut through the playoffs towards a World Series title at the same time.

So this is the only pinstripe story I could find without centering on A-Rod or Big Papi.

Banksy's wildcat stencil seems to have graffiti tags instead of spots and sits on a yellow line of paint over a peeling wall once coated with Yankee Stadium blue. It looks kind of like the stadium's outfield wall.

Gothamist speculated that the work's location and title may refer to the fact that Yankees earned the name Bronx Zoo between 1972 and 1981 because of the fighting between George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson. Banksy can only imagine the gritty city back then — when graffiti wasn't considered art and, spray-paint can or not, he would have been jumped before he reached 161st Street. 

On Wednesday, the artist appeared to be trying to win over New Yorkers by helping to raise money for a local charity with a piece. 

The elusive artist took a painting from a charity shop and added a seated Nazi officer before returning it to the same shop and allowing them to auction it off for a six-figure sum. And on the same day, the bearded Red Sox won the hearts of America.

Who cares? As a real New Yorker, I'm just glad October is over.

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