If there's one thing we've learned from Banksy's ongoing New York "residency," it's that the city is not the safest environment for extremely hyped street art. Banksy's "Better Out Than In" pieces have been tagged over, washed away, ignored by people visiting Central Park, vaguely threatened by Mayor Bloomberg, and peed on by at least two dogs. We're sure none of this came as a major surprise to the British artist, who has been doing this stuff for a very long time, but he seemed to want to make some point about the exposed nature of his work on Friday, when he hung two canvases from a section of the High Line near 24th Street and 10th Avenue (see above.) The New York Post reports that Banksy paid $50,000 to have the paintings roped off and protected by a security guard who forbade visitors from bringing alcohol or animals into the exhibit.
Meanwhile, Cara Tabachnick, who wrote here about the experience of discovering that Banksy had spray-painted a pair of geishas on an East Williamsburg building owned by her family, has wisely decided to actively preserve her little piece of history — which could for up to $1 million at auction — by covering it with a sheet of bolted-on plexiglass, installing a rolling metal gate, and hiring $200-a-shift security guards to watch the site 24 hours a day, the Post reports. She doesn't seem to be charging people to look at the piece, which is her loss.
A video posted to Banksy's website suggests that today's installation is on Staten Island and involves live ants.
Hurry up and get on the ferry if you want to see this one, which seems particularly vulnerable to dogs and the things they do.