(Reuters) - British graffiti artist Banksy revealed Tuesday his first work in what he described as an exhibition on walls throughout New York City this month - a painting of boys disobeying prohibitions on graffiti.
Banksy, a pseudonym for the elusive artist who first emerged in the streets of Bristol, England and whose real identity is unknown, announced the “Better Out Than In” show along with new artwork in Manhattan on his website along with a caption saying: “The street is in play.”
His first New York piece shows two boys with pageboy caps, one standing on the other’s back, reaching for a spray can and a sign that says, “Graffiti is a crime.” The exact location of the artwork was not revealed.
Banksy has become a coveted contemporary painter in the art world, known for his trademark spray-paint stencils on buildings that offer social commentary. The artist appeared in and directed the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” with his face and voice obscured.
The artist’s website said that people can access an audio guide of Banksy’s attempted New York street exhibition via mobile phone to get more information about the graffiti works.
Earlier this year, two spray-painted murals by Banksy were pulled from an auction in Miami, including one entitled “Slave Labour,” after questions arose about the ownership of the works and how the auction house obtained them.
“Slave Labour” eventually sold at a private auction in London for $1.1 million in June. Another Banksy mural, the “Flower Girl” found painted on the wall of a Los Angeles gas station in 2008, is up for auction in December in Beverly Hills, and estimated to fetch between $150,000 and $300,000.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Cynthia Osterman