Art, Chris Gibbs Diary

I have been a big fan of Banksy for a long time. I just love his wit, I suppose.

True story about Banksy: had to be about 16 years or so ago, I had just starting working at Union NYC, must have been my first year on the job, cause I had no clout. I was sitting in the store by myself (that's what I did back then before streetwear blew up, it was pretty quiet and I could read three or four books a week) and this guy walks in asking for James or Mary Ann (the original owners, for you young bucks). By then I was told to screen people so I gave him my usual "they're not here but if you like to leave a message I can make sure they get it". He gave me a bag of hand printed t-shirts and said he was a friend of "Mushroom's" (Mushroom is one of the guys from Massive Attack/Soul to Soul crew from London and an old friend of James'). He wanted to know if we were interested in carrying the tees at the store? I took the tees and said that I would pass on the message.

Later that day, I showed Mary Ann the tees. There were three or four of them (the elephant with the rocket launcher, the leopard bar code cage and two others). She looked at them and immediately saw that the tees were actual stencils just painted...not screen prints. There was no label and she had no idea who this guy was. She was like, "We can't sell these, they are spray painted, it will come off in the wash. Tell the guy to come back when he has real samples".

I called the guy and left a message but he never came back. The tee's sat in our storage for months, no one knew who Banksy was at the time. For all I know...the tees are still boxed up somewhere in storage?

I am pretty sure the guy who came in was Banksy himself, but I guess we will never know...


Banksy is at it again, this time doing a "residency" in NYC. Everyday a new stunt. You can see all the stunts and follow on his website But here are some of my personal favorite highlights:


At each stunt or art piece he has included a telephone number that you can call and get an "audio tour" of what you are viewing or experiencing. Kind of like a museum...Classic!




He has a whole series where he finds preexisting street graffiti and adds "the musical" to it. You know, everything in NYC has a musical.