Saturday, March 26, 2005

Crashing The Met

Banksy's Opening At The Met

An enterprising artist has decided that his work is as worthy to be publically viewed as the Masters currently on display at the New York Met, the American Museum of Natural History, the MOMA, and the Brooklyn Museum, smuggling in his own art and simply hanging it on the walls.

Going by the name of "Banksy," the prankster hit all four New York museums on March 13. And this wasn't the first time:

Last year he smuggled work into the Louvre in Paris and London's Tate, attracting attention in the British media.

"My sister inspired me to do it. She was throwing away loads of my pictures one day and I asked her why. She said 'It's not like they're going to be hanging in the Louvre.'" (more pictures)

Now I don't condone vandalism in our greatest museums, but this prank has a certain charm in its democratic brashness. If Warhol can (pun intended), why not me?

It also reminds me of a fraternity stunt we executed at UC Berkeley, whose grounds are peppered with avant-guarde sculptures that don't necessarily conform to recognizeable patterns of aesthetic work.

Late one night we emptied out our garage, shed, and dumpster of old, rusty items and trash, arranged it in provocative ways in the center of a quad's lawn, and placed an official-looking name plate at its feet.

Our display lasted for a month, receiving critical acclaim.