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Brooklyn Hustlers Charging $20 To See Free Banksy Street Art [PHOTOS]

 

The issues of gentrification, exploitation and good old fashioned bamboozlement have come together hilariously, or tragically, in East New York, Brooklyn thanks to Banksy. The street artist is currently in NYC and local hustlers were charging $20 a pop to get a look at his latest piece, which happened to be in their hood. 

Reports Gothamist:

Earlier today Banksy posted a photo of a new piece in East New York, setting plenty of street art fans in the direction of the neighborhood. But only those who got to Bradford and Pitkin early enough got to see it free of charge. After one man failed at trying to chisel the piece out of the wall, another group came along and took ownership. Since then they’ve been covering the piece with cardboard, charging people $20 to see and photograph it.

Apparently the “gentlemen” that took ownership of the piece are not only charging $20 but also accepting food and other forms of trade for a peep. Part of the rationale of these taxes has to do with the changing face of BK, which hasn’t made its way to East New York just yet.

One woman who works in East New York and went over to the scene told us:

“They have been guarding it for a while drinking heavily, so who knows. They are pretty angry about how many white people are coming here. Side note, I have some cred here because I work close to that spot. The general feeling is that nobody cares about this neighborhood and now that they have something of value they should benefit. Omar’s name came up several times and they are not going to allow anyone to deface it. They didn’t charge me because one guy has seen me around. They reported that several yellow cabs have pulled up with people wanting to get a look. They are firm about the $20 fee and tried to warn me when I left about the crews from the area projects robbing people who look like they don’t belong. They wouldn’t let me take a picture, but were happy to let me take a nice long look while blocking some others who had not paid.”

Apparently they are also accepting pizzas… and if you’re NYPD you get a free look (one onlooker wrote: “NYPD rolled up wanting to take photos so they uncovered it.”).

Check out photos of the Banksy piece and the BK hustlers at work in the gallery. And yeah, dude in the vid (last page) sounds just like Woodrow the Basehead from Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele. To quote KRS-One, Brooklyn keeps on taking.

Photo: Instagram, desusnice

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Comment Comments: 21 Tags Tags: brooklyn, street art, 20
  • LucySkyDiamond

    hell yeah!!! if they came to their neighborhood would they be welcome. they would get more than a $20 hood tax.

  • Asky Askerson

    The thing is, though – you don’t have to listen to them. I’m not giving anyone 20 bucks for something that’s free and meant to be free by the person who created it. Nope. And there’s literally nothing you can do about that, at all. People can easily just brush past them, take the cardboard off and look at it? What are they gonna do? Cry? Okay.

    • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

      You’re looking to get beat up or shot

      • MrsBarker

        You sound scared. You would pay the fee huh?

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        Hell no! To see a piece of art? No ma’am

      • Asky Askerson

        That doesn’t make sense. You’re making it sound like I willingly want harm on myself. That’s a blame the victim mentality. Nobody looks to get beat up or shot. And that has nothing to do with it. If anyone tried to touch me, I’d just tell them not to, and that it’s none of their business what I’m looking at.. I’m a g*rl, and I’m not going to be scared of a bunch of dorks trying to claim someone else’s artwork. If they are willing to beat up a woman over some artwork they are trying to steal, then I guess I’d be willing to do things out of my character like call the police to make them stop. People don’t just get away with sh*t like what these cornballs are trying to pull.

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        If you were to become a victim of this after having read this article then honestly you would have looked for it. These guys have said that if people are in the neighborhood who look like they don’t belong they’d rob them. Knowing this why would you go there? You must want to be robbed! Either go and pay the $20 or don’t go at all. They’ve even said that if you call the police they’d harm you. Believe me, they are more than willing to beat up a woman. Gender has nothing to do with it.

      • Asky Askerson

        Reading the article has nothing to do with whether those people are right or wrong, I don’t understand this part of your argument. If I had read the article first, I would agree to pay 20 dollars to see a free thing? No, I wouldn’t have.
        Those guys can threaten to rob people all they want, that doesn’t make me a willing participant. No, I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there or to NOT go there. I’m just saying, that if I was there, and walking by and wanted to see behind it, I would ask them to move and I would not pay any money. If they didn’t, it’s not like there is a magic force field stopping me from just putting the cardboard to the side and looking. If they tried to use physical violence on me, fine, I’m calling the cops. And they will go away and I can be free to look at the art. I’m not saying I’d go out of my way to see it just to prove a point, I don’t even live in NY anymore.
        Saying “you must want to be robbed” is that ugly “blame the victim” mentality. It’s what people tell girls in short skirts. “She was asking for it.” NO. That’s not how civilized people think. People need to not rob and not rape, regardless of who you say is “asking for it.”
        No, I’m not either going to pay 20 dollars to see a free thing or not go at all. I am going to see free things for free.
        They can make all the threats they want, that doesn’t mean I’m going to pay them or be scared of them.
        Why would I believe you when you are the one advocating this kind of thing?
        I agree, people don’t care about gender, but at the same time, I don’t care about their impoverished cries for money that I’m unwilling to give.

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        What exactly am I advocating? There is no VICTIM. You are not a victim! What is wrong with you? I’m not blaming anyone! It’s about PREVENTION! If someone says to me, “Don’t go in that area they’re robbing folks” then I, as someone with sense, would avoid that area. It’s just like avoiding a route if there’s an accident. If you take that route YOU MUST WANT TO GET CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC. Those that know better should do better! SMFT can’t warn folks anymore. If you don’t live in NYC why are you barking at me? Carry on.

      • Asky Askerson

        Disgusting. You can carry a civil conversation, can’t you? You don’t have to froth at the mouth like that and get ghetto.

        You are advocating that these guys should get paid, or nobody should try to look at the art. That’s almost exactly what you said. “Either go and pay the $20 or don’t go at all.” That’s you advocating the crime. I’m not going to participate in that crime. If someone told me not to go in an area because people got robbed there, I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there. But at the same time, if I had a reason to be there, I’m not going to let people stop me because they are acting like trashy animals, robbing random strangers. No. That kind of criminal doesn’t get to run the show. It’s nothing like your traffic comparison because people who were involved in an accident didn’t do it purposefully to harm people. And if you’re already in the path of the accident, you didn’t want to get caught in traffic. Nobody WANTS that for themselves. That’s blaming the victim. They just got caught in traffic.

        Knowing better has nothing to do with it. And “doing better” would be doing the right thing and not participating in that kind of crime, like you are advocating.

        And no, you can’t warn people if you’re going to blame them and side with the criminals and talk ugly. You can say something polite, but simply, “You must want to be robbed” is not a warning, it’s just ugliness and snark. Someone who was really giving a warning would care and be polite.

        I’m not barking at you. You’re the one getting ghetto and typing in all caps, freaking out and panicking. I don’t have to live in NYC to comment on the story. And, you were the one who replied to my comment originally, “barking” at me. I never addressed you.

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        This is an extremely long missive that you’ve typed here. I don’t blame victims I’m just saying to take preventative measures so that you DON’T become a victim. Do what you want I can’t read all of that you have up there I don’t have the time so I’ll just say enjoy the rest of your day.

      • Asky Askerson

        Okay, that’s fine, except, you are blaming victims. Saying, “either pay or don’t go there” is blaming victims. And you could just admit that you have nothing to come back with instead of making yourself appear unwilling or unable to read a short paragraph. Have a bad rest of your day!

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        LOLOLOL BAD REST OF YOUR DAY?! LOLOLOL OMG lmao that’s unique! I like that lol I’m not blaming the victims bottom line.

      • Asky Askerson

        Haha, cool, I’m glad you got a laugh. But seriously, though, I can say the same thing and it would have just as much weight. “Bottom line, you are blaming the victims.” You’d have to make a case to show you weren’t, and in this instance, you didn’t. Does it matter anymore? Not really, I just think it was gross the way you came at me like that, it felt disrespectful and uncalled for, because you straight up told me I was looking to be beat up or shot, and that’s just not right. Nobody goes out looking for that. It is a blame the victim mentality, even if that’s not how you intended it.

      • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

        Aite Asky McAskerson

      • Asky Askerson

        I like the Mc, I might adopt that!

  • MrsBarker

    These dudes need to get a job. Seriously stop make excuses and do something else. Its free art. They don’t own the hood, they may be from the hood, but they don’t own nothing but the clothes on their backs. No way would I give these idiots $2 let alone $20 to see a free piece of art. They just make themselves look stupid holding up a pissed on piece of cardboard that aint blocking anything really.

  • Asky Askerson

    edit

  • MEME

    Meanwhile Banksy is charging $60 a piece for his work in Manhattan, these hustlers are being very generous with these Yuppies…

    • Mrs. and Mrs. Sarcasm

      $60 is actually a steal! That was an experiment, he wanted to see if people would buy if they didn’t know that he was the artist. Notice he only made about $430 for the whole day. If people had known it was his artwork it would have been sold out in less than an hour. Goes to show that people aren’t attracted to the quality of work but to the name attached to it.

  • Asky Askerson

    yet another edit, sorry.