Is Banksy a jerk or a genius? Debate over month of graffiti art in New York City

By Beth J. Harpaz

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Nov. 1 2013 6:48 a.m. MDT

OK, but is Banksy any good? "There's plenty of wit in what he does, as well as some thoroughly ordinary, sometimes pleasant, sometimes banal, but sometimes sweet things," Subramaniam said. But he's also "not a naïf in the art world. After all, who would care if you or I were to set up a blog and enact a residency like this? It's only because he's able to marshal this kind of PR and marketing that ... catapults his residency to another level and elicits these polarized points of view."

In a final gesture that was simultaneously serious and self-mocking, audio commentary posted Thursday on Banksy's website called his final piece— his name in bubble letters by the road — "an homage ... to the most prevalent form of graffiti in the city that invented it for the modern era. Or it's another Banksy piece that's full of hot air."

But three men apparently thought it was worth something. Newspaper photos show one of them on a long ladder, trying to reach the installation.

All three were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. One was additionally charged with criminal mischief. Police are seen in one photo cramming the bubble letters inside a van.

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