Banksy street art painting “You Complete Me” is already getting painted over


Taking in a little of the local culture on the way to school 

by Robert Conway

Well let me throw my hat in the ring and shamelessy add to the recent Banksy mania we have here in the New York area. “You Complete Me”, which is the third installation of Banksy’s stenciled street art paintings from for his on going street exhibition “Better Out Than In” is located on the route where I walk my son to school in Chelsea at 24th Street & 6th Avenue. Stupid me, I have been walking past this highly chronicled work of art all month and this is the first time I even noticed it was there! Funny, it was a pleasant surprise, since this was one of my favorite pieces from Banksy’s New York run, which I think has been such a fun diversion for all of us from all the serious stuff we are exposed to daily in the news.

    Anyhow, it looks like some other street artists have started to go to town on this street painting. I showed this picture to one of my colleague at work who knows all about the history of graffiti and street art in New York City and he told me that the RD signature over the fire hydrant part of the painting is from a real old school graffiti artist named RD who is known for tagging fire hydrants all over the metropolitan area. I thought that was interesting I guess he felt it was in his right then. I don’t think anyone would give this fellow a hard time about it, the guy at work told me RD is “Big, Like a Monster” so on that note I would like to segue into wishing everyone a Happy Halloween.

#banksy     #banksynyc   #streetart   #graffiti

February 15, 2014


12 thoughts on “Banksy street art painting “You Complete Me” is already getting painted over

    • thank you Trapper, between this post and the last two about the FIT Chalk! exhibition I have been feeling like a street reporter lately. It is nice to know that sometimes I can get interesting material just on my way to work. 🙂

  1. The graffiti where I live, in Thailand, is mostly just crap. Kind of the equivalent of the motorbikes that are tweaked out to be as loud as possible. Just egos demanding attention. There are a few good stencils of old fish that I actually like, but most is just people scrawling their name or a very unskilled drawing. Maybe graffiti artists should do a little practice BEFORE they go public and force us all to look at their fledgling attempts at art. If you are going to sing on the subway, at least do it not too abysmally.

    In the pic you posted only the dog image rises above mindless tagging, as far as I can tell. Just because it’s graffiti doesn’t mean it can’t be criticized for being lousy art. Graffiti artists need to get beyond just scribbling words with half-comprehended typography.

    • I agree with you about the scribbling. I guess there are a lot of flailing egos out there. Well Erick I am glad I got that picture when I did because this morning as I walked by the site the whole Banksy painting “You Complete Me” was totally covered in dark grey paint. that wonderful bit of local art history is obliterated. Oh well I guess that is the life of a street artist, your artwork has a very short shelf life.

      • I think it could be recreated with a stencil in about 5 minutes. I’ve noticed where I live the only graffiti (I don’t call it “art” any more than I call if “poetry” or “philosophy” just because is has words, if it does) I like is the stencil stuff. Most everything else is done so poorly that it just looks ugly. Calling tagging “art” is like standing in the street shouting your own name and calling it “music”.

        • very well put Erick, you certainly have a way with the words. I like the stencil stuff too, I am beginning to really appreciate street more and more, it is this fun and interesting universe that I had never paid any attention to before.

  2. Great to have a new yorker insight to this piece and it’s life after birth. Naturally any image you leave on the wall could be subject to many interventions and makes it a dynamic piece through time. That RD tag is so meaningful now that you explained it! NIce article!

      • NYC as a lot to discover indeed, i found this video in the past weeks, all this stuff in brooklin, it’s amazing how graffiti, from a marginal activity often condemned by society, has become the most important link between people and visual arts.

        • thanks so much that was very interesting, I am going to have to visit Brooklyn more, it is like the center of the universe over here, there is so much going on. those were some incredible paintings.

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