Banksy’s ‘Ghetto 4 Life’ work offends some

The latest Banksy work was spotted Monday on a wall on E. 153rd St. in the South Bronx.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

The latest Banksy work was spotted Monday on a wall on E. 153rd St. in the South Bronx.

British graffiti artist Banksy’s first painted work in the Bronx immediately offended some of the people who have to live with it — residents of E. 153rd St.

The new piece, which features a child spray-painting “Ghetto 4 Life” with the assistance of his butler, went up near the corner early Monday morning and immediately drew a crowd.

Residents said they were angry at the vandalism — and its message.

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“It’s lazy and it’s ridiculous,” said Karah Shaffer, 29. “Having a kid with spray paint and his butler writing ‘Ghetto 4 Life’ in the South Bronx is an easy way to perpetuate the way people think about the South Bronx.

New Yorkers flocked to the South Bronx once they got word of a new Banksy art display.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

New Yorkers flocked to the South Bronx once they got word of a new Banksy art display.

“It’s disrespectful. Nobody comes here to be ‘ghetto,’” she added.

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New Yorkers continue to flock to each new installment, and many are appreciative that Banksy is sharing the wealth across the boroughs. Graffiti artists have a different take on the project. Within hours after the Banksy work went up, a tagger named Skeelo scrawled his name above the piece.

But the owner of the E. 153rd St. building said he has no problem with Banksy’s antics — and even wants to preserve the work. Of course he does — many people who own original Banksy pieces sell their walls for thousands of dollars.

Elizabeth Lara brought her 1-year-son, Jacob to see Banksy's newest work. She liked it. But then again, she doesn’t live in the neighborhood.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

Elizabeth Lara brought her 1-year-son, Jacob to see Banksy’s newest work. She liked it. But then again, she doesn’t live in the neighborhood.

But owner David Demaggi said his interest in Banksy’s art was not financial.

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“It’s beautiful, it’s a nice work of art,” Demaggi said. “More power to him. As long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, It’s fine.”

Demaggi’s partner, Zabe Hakimi, said he even appreciated the message of the work, the 21st of Banksy’s monthlong “residency” in New York, which he calls the “Better Out Than In” tour. His only prior foray into the Bronx was erecting a sculpture of an angry Ronald McDonald.

“‘Ghetto for life’ means no matter what you get, even if you’re a billionaire, you’re going to be the same person and remember where you came from,” he said.


Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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