(LEFT) “Outdoor” courtyard inside NewYork-NewYork has a “Banksy.” (RIGHT) A Banksy released photo of his street art on the West Bank Barrier.
FIELD NOTES: Monday's hunt for street art led me to a Banksy replicated inside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. It’s on a wall of an “outdoor” courtyard decorated with simulated graffiti to add Manhattan authenticity. In October 2013, Banksy worked the streets of New York for 31 days.
This “Banksy” is a painted replica of his stencil commonly known as “Girl with Balloons,” an image the street artist and his team installed in Israel between 2005 and 2007, including on the West Bank Barrier. The original context made it a surprise to see in Las Vegas, but the image and the artist is so popular the image is now sold on t-shirts, or as a graphic for home decor, and walls with his art are ripped out and auctioned for record prices. (Banksy is known for not copyrighting his work).
The child floating to freedom as resort decoration signals how some of the artist's work has been translated from political message to a greeting that echoes the “Welcome to Las Vegas Sign” by Betty Willis, and has the same upbeat mood as Milton Glaser’s graphic hearted “I Love New York” logo.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.