Not all of New York’s aerosol-wielding denizens are out to destroy the work renowned street artist Banksy has been putting up as part of his Better Out Than In campaign that’s currently underway in the city. Witness Krystyna Printup says she snapped photos of a guy in an orange vest and hard hat fixing the “Day 3” Banksy with black spray paint after the stenciled dog had been tagged (pictured below).
“Taken today at 12:30ish,” she wrote in an email to ANIMAL. Printup says the man told her he was with the “Banksy Restoration Society.” When I searched that phrase it led to the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Perry Levy, who describes himself as a “sound designer and mixer from Brooklyn.” On his Instagram he posted a photo of himself touching up the dog accompanied by all sorts of hashtags: #BanksyRestorationSociety, #NewYorkersDeserveTheBest, #StreetArtRestoration, #NotAgainstGrafitti #DontHate, #StreetArt,#BetterOutThanIn.
So yeah, it’s pretty safe to say that Levy is the street art good samaritan. UPDATE: I was able to reach Levy on the phone and confirm him as the Banksy rehabber.
“I did it because I think it’s a good idea,” says Levy. “I really appreciate the culture.” The 34-year-old is a native New Yorker from Far Rockaway and works right near the piece.
Levy says he’s a longtime admirer of graffiti and street art. “I totally get graffiti and people wanting to one-up each other. No disrespect to graffiti,” Levy explains. “But let’s keep it there for at least a couple of days, so people can enjoy it. The smile it puts on people’s faces is genuine.”
I asked him if he was going to touch-up any of the other Banksys. “There’s plans in the works,” he replies. Levy told me that he’s not worried about getting prosecuted. “It’s the restoring of something that’s already been there,” he reasoned.
Levy thinks people should appreciate it as public art. “Banksy said it best: ‘It’s better out than in.'”
(Top Photos: Krystyna Printup)