March 2010 Cover of Time Out London Designed By Banksy (All Photos By Gail)
My first exposure to Banksy — the pseudonymous British street artist (some say consortium) whose irreverent works of socio-political satire have appeared in site-specific locations across the globe — was a visit to his October, 2008 immersive Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill. Located in a Greenwich Village, NYC storefront and filled with surreal creations both familiar and exotic, the installation was designed to look like a typical pet store, but with a twist. While there was no actual Charcoal Grill serving food, rather than selling live animals, the store featured a variety of animatronic pets, including fish sticks swimming in a fish bowl, ‘chicken nugget’ baby chicks and a rabbit applying makeup before a mirrored vanity.
OK, I have spent several days scouring the Internet for any indication that this very Banksy-sque stencil mural — which depicts a Wall Street Banker-type panhandling for “Any Job” while a female Robot hands him what looks like a Burrito (but is probably a handful of cash)– is, in fact, a Banksy, but I can’t find any evidence to confrm that suspicion. My guess is that the piece is called Looking For Any Job, as the man’s sign suggests.
The mural is painted just inside a cinderblock wall corridor adjacent to a service door at 7 Pine Street, in the Financial District, where I’m guessing employees of the building lurk while taking their smoking breaks, judging by the cigarette butt evidence that can clearly be seen. I have no idea how long it’s been there, but I’ve worked in the neighborhood for well over ten years and I just noticed it for the first time a few months ago, which means nothing. Is it a Banksy? Sound off in the comments!
NOTE: As of January 10th, 2020, this artwork has been painted over!