10OCT13. Mulberry Street, NYC.
Here are some pictures of him from the past and you can compare them to the one I took yesterday of a very stylish bystander. I took note of the guy because, like I said, he was quite stylish and the image of him alone by the wall, just looked like a great photo to me. It’s been brought to my attention by my blog viewers, that this COULD BE HIM! It appears that he is taking pics and/or video-ing the scene as people gather to check out his Crazy Horse piece. You decide:
BANKSY OCTOBER 9th, 2013
I am not saying it is definitely him. I am saying that the chin looks the same. He appears to be in a bit of a disguise (maybe fake blonde hair?) He wasn’t talking to anyone at all. If someone knows the identity of this man to be anyone other than Banksy, please let me know and I’ll edit this piece. Proof required.
all photos on this blog are the property of Jacqueline Hadel and cannot be reproduced without permission.
9OCT13. Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, NYC.
The accompanying audio—which is not on his 1-800 number yet, but is on his website—comes from the audio recording of an attack on Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007 that was given by Chelsea Manning to Wikileaks. The callsigns of the two Apache helicopters involved in the attack were “Crazyhorse 1/8” and “Crazyhorse 1/9.” At least 12 people were killed in the attack, including two journalists working for Reuters, and 2 children were wounded. One of the American soliders involved can be heard remarking, “Well, it’s their fault for bringing kids into a battle.”
From THE GOTHAMIST.COM
9OCT13. Lower East Side, NYC.
This piece has already been destroyed, so I am very happy that I got it while it was still in its purest form. Bandaids patching up the heart in so many places. In my opinion, it’s saying that no matter how many times your heart gets broken, you can still recover and your heart can still be light and open enough to fly towards its next big love.
7OCT13. Red Hook, Brooklyn, NYC.
…At the very least, the information hotline is live (1-800-656-4271, #2). For someone who has totally convulsed New York City with what’s probably the biggest scavenger hunt in history, Banksy somehow managed to stay self-deprecating about his work.
The narrator on the hotline opens his description of the latest piece with: “Are you’re looking at one of the great artworks of the 21st century? If so, you’re in the wrong place. You should be looking at a stencil of a dog peeing on a hydrant.” For more: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/10/banksys_third_a.php
3OCT13. 24th St & SW Corner of 6th Ave., Midtown, NYC.
Background: “My father was an engineer in the military, so I was moved around about 14 times by the age of 18, and lived in 4 other countries and multiple places stateside in the past 10 years.”
TOKIDOKI: I looked at your developing website…the word “married” is next to the mural that I am trying to figure out (12th & 2nd.) Is that the name of it or no?
NATHAN MELLOTT: No, the mural is nameless. The title next to it, on my website, is a reference to its availability; permanent, unattainable, wedded to a wall.
TOKIDOKI: Is the excerpt about ‘falling into the sky’ related to this mural? I see you tie written words with your art pieces…
NATHAN MELLOTT: No, it is not related to the mural. My written works are only sketches at this point, I have not honed that craft; I just wish to share them as I do the visual pieces. None are written to explain or compliment another piece in particular; but given I feel they run in the same vein, or share commonalities of atmosphere, I think they animate/apprise each other.
TD: I have to say, when I came upon this piece, at first glance, I assumed it wasn’t finished and was hopeful I’d catch you in a day or two, working on it, finishing it up. But, that’s not the case. You know, most art on the streets, fill spaces completely. So, with further pondering, I found it refreshing. Shut up, Jackie. Get to your question. Why so much space?
NM: It does feel a bit unfinished, but the idea is established (more could have been added/refined, but the negative space you mention would still be there); to varying degrees I think this is always the case – then again maybe the majority of street artists achieve finality – or aim for an image that cannot be expounded/expanded on. However, this is beside the case. I desire negative space. It’s inclusive: co-habitable. There is a place and a context; there are distances filled, cacophonous, orchestrated – and voids, deserts of activity, room to breathe, frontiers for the imagination of both the subject and viewer. Space creates rhythm and organicness, balance, and in great compositions, apparent calm and tension simultaneously. The viewer can remain longer, linger, find a place they are not being shouted at, then return to chaotic/dense places to parse. Viewers deserve their due credit to imagine (themselves, their creations, their interpretations) because they are fully capable; the picture is not so busy, so preachy, that it has no room for one to insert or be a part of the context.
TOKIDOKI: Why are some people wearing masks and some aren’t? Is it because that’s what actually occurs in real life?
NATHAN M: I want the image to be an informed extension of reality. Masks – identity, self perception, projection (or the lack of masks, or the approach to masks) – metaphorically, are a part of social life (though not everyone’s), to admonish or admire, to identify with or be in disgust of, to seriously utilize or approach playfully; their universality in particular, involves everyone. A mask, I guess, is one guise when we are built for a range of them (maybe seeing masks victimizes us, enrages our guard); it’s alien, and inhibits empathy, it suggests anarchy, secret intentions, classification, roles, declaration and anonymity. I guess the amount of masks shown is my assumptive proportion of them, because if more masks were used (or if everyone wore one), I would feel I had made something explicitly about identity. Not my goal. If no masks were included, I would have been disingenuous to their role in my worldview, mythology, architecture, opinion, expression, et cetera. In short, they are useful and engaging.
TOKIDOKI: Why is the woman’s right foot buried and the men are working on her left one?
NATHAN MELLOTT: That’s just how I found her.
TD: “A little learning is a dangerous thing…” from Alexander Pope…what is its significance in the scheme of the mural? (NB readers: the poem is in the mural)
NM: It’s a detail of that world, a mantra for someone who carved it in the mountain. It is there to enlarge(n) the scope, and be a reference to ideas that influence me. It is a resignation; a critique and a plea for understanding, that I did what I could in the limited time I had, and an insinuation that I will do better. I do not live in New York any more, and was able to stay by the grace of my friends for 2 weeks. The entire wall was planned, prep’ed, and executed in those two weeks – it is a more than adequate poem about exhaustion and humility for having tried something I wanted to be impressive, emotionally complicated (original?), and pleasant enough that property owners wouldn’t cover it. (Plus/Also), I think the arts should cross inform each other. If I had the fortune to spend six months working on the mural, I would, but that excerpt from the Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope continues to be relevant to how I perceive my artistic efforts (though I may have instead included a poem of my own).
TOKIDOKI: Why are some giants and others are quite small?
NATHAN M: Some of my work uses size at liberty in what has evolved as an extension of an idea to represent dynamism or dualism or tandemism in the vein described by William Blake’s Poem “The Mental Traveller.” It is a means of anthropomorphizing a sense of civil, social, and cultural strata (e.g. disproportionate influence, force, control, power, inequality, balance, growth and diminishment, the natural and unnatural, industry/corporatism and subsistence, youth and antiquity, sex and stone, cyclical chaos).
TOKIDOKI: Why is the man clutching the baby and holding a can of paint?
NATHAN MELLOTT: The man is a patriarch, he is successful but less so than his namesake, and although his identity leans heavily on being earnest, productivity is crucial – oh! but how he fancies (himself) to have never lied, never pretended; you can tell by how he clutches the child, it isn’t cradled, but carried, being moved – they are qualities a man in his position must be remembered for. For shit’s sake, he’s depended on! And dissolution of his control does little foreseeable good; ‘am not I, an honest person, the lesser of evils when care need be entrusted?’ Only he has caught himself muttering: Reprehensible in regards to etiquette; but it is dutiful, not subversive to say so, and it thickens his pride that he is self-aware. Go forth and relegate.
TD: Is there a figure buried under there completely? I see a gray foot protruding. What does it mean?
NM: I respectfully decline to answer this question. OR The fingers and toes are a nod to the salon next door.
TD: Masked people flying?
NM: To me, it’s a very relatable image.
TOKIDOKI: Do you like Banksy? Why/Why not?
NATHAN M: Yes. He’s funny.
TD: And who commissioned this piece? Or wasn’t it commissioned? I’d imagine the building’s owner…?
NM: It was commissioned (my supplies were paid for, but no more) by the salon, Pastel, who maintains that wall of the property.
TOKIDOKI: I saw on your facebook page, some allusion to a ‘night in jail…’ can you elaborate? Or would you prefer I not say anything about that? Is it even related?
NATHAN MELLOTT: In the winter of 2009, in February, I was living half a block away from the mural, on 12th street. That big wall was tagged with lettering, and I asked the salon, which managed the wall, if I could paint a mural if I cleaned it up. They said yes, I cleaned it up, and started delineating figures on the wall when a plainclothed cop in an unmarked car pulled up, asked if I owned the building, asked no further questions and placed me under arrest and in the back of a newly arrived NYPD cruiser, never reading my rights nor telling me what I was arrested for. I went to the precinct on 4th street, then was transferred to central booking in lower manhattan and spent 23 and half hours in cells. Then I was shuffled into a courtroom, charged with graffiti, was told I wasn’t a flight risk by prosecutors, then given my future court date. When that day came, charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. I finished the mural that summer in 6 days, and it lasted 4 years until someone, this summer, wrote in bubble-letters on it. So I came back to the city in August and painted a whole new picture.
Thank you so much, Nathan!
OCT13. 12th & 2nd. New York City.