How the Chelsea Mob Thought this Guy was Banksy
Last Thursday evening, while dressed in a construction vest and hard hat, the bearded man spray-painted a stencil onto the backside of a Chelsea newsstand (near FIT). That of a newsie standing on a stack of papers. Given that the Banksy is in town, and how the piece is an obvious nod, the crowd on hand believed what they were seeing was the elusive artist in action.
But it wasn’t.
Street artist and social satirist Adrian Wilson was behind the stunt. Legendary Street scrawler Al Diaz – one half of SAMO with Basquiat – imparted his tag. Jerry Saltz was also there.
The point of the collaboration was a commentary on fake news and the ease of believing and spreading falsehood.
“The whole piece was about fake news and how easily it is to plant an idea, no matter how unlikely, and it be believed,” the artist tells us. “People WANTED to believe [we were with Banksy] because it was about THEM getting a scoop.”
This wasn’t meant to be a trick. “I repeatedly denied I was Banksy and unlike the anonymous artist I did it without a disguise in broad daylight,” Wilson continued.
As for Banksy, the popular speculation is that he’s actually Robert Del Naja, the 52-year-old member of trip hop trio Massive Attack. No New York City show dates on this trip.