Banksy bids farewell to New York with balloons

Story highlights

Graffiti artist Banksy's final artwork floated near the Long Island Expressway

Artist stirred controversy, raised money for charity during his month in New York

He left daily works, including performance art and traveling exhibits, throughout city

CNN  — 

Like a signature on a work of art, a set of balloons that read “BANKSY!” tied to the side of a warehouse visible from the Long Island Expressway in Queens could be the final piece of the famously anonymous British graffiti artist’s monthlong street art residency in New York City.

On his website, Banksy called it “An inflatable throw-up on the Long Island Expressway.”

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“And that’s it,” it says under photos of the installation posted on the site. “Thanks for your patience. It’s been fun. Save 5pointz. Bye.”

5pointz is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered by many in the graffiti world to be a Mecca of that culture and is facing demolition by developers.

Banksy also released an “official Banksy New York residency souvenir T shirt” design, a JPEG with instructions to take it to a copy store and “make it yourself.”

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The balloons are already down, according to local reports, and police would not comment on whether they had them or what they would do with them.

One of his last pieces, a thrift-store painting he vandalized then re-donated to the thrift store, 23rd St Housing Works in Manhattan, was put up for auction online starting at $74,000, and ended up selling $615,000, according to the store’s website.

Each day of October, Banksy unveiled new works of art around New York. The works were then announced on his website and posted to Instagram. Many of the surprise exhibits followed his signature street-art style: stencils spray-painted on streets, walls of buildings and under bridges.

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Others include an animated YouTube video showing what appears to be footage of jihadist militants shooting down an animated Dumbo the Elephant and traveling installations, including a slaughterhouse delivery truck full of stuffed animals touring the city. Also produced were performance art pieces such as a dirt-smeared boy shining the shoes of a life-size statue of Ronald McDonald.

The New York Times opted not to publish an op-ed Banksy wrote criticizing the design of One World Trade Center, so he posted it on his website. He also used his familiar graffiti medium, stenciling “This site contains blocked messages,” on a wall in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.