Patti Smith Presents Top Webby Award to Banksy; He Accepts with Self-Mocking Video

Pre­sent­ing at the 18th annu­al Web­by Awards last week, God­moth­er of Punk Pat­ti Smith man­aged to Adele Dazeem street art provo­ca­teur Banksy not once, but twice. Banksky? Ban-ski? It’s a mea­sure of the lady’s august stand­ing that emcee Pat­ton Oswalt passed on the com­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties of this giant blun­der. He did call her “fuck­ing adorable,” but I like to think he did so with the kind­est of inten­tions.

As to why an artist famous for using the real world as his can­vas should be dubbed “Per­son of the Year” by an out­fit that rec­og­nizes excel­lence on the Inter­net, Smith was noth­ing short of elo­quent. The imper­ma­nence of his oft-ille­gal­ly installed cre­ations make them the per­fect can­di­date “to be archived, shared and stored … through the World Wide Web.” (Appar­ent­ly, she only just real­ized this is a syn­onym for the Inter­net, but no mat­ter. I’m with Oswalt! It would be a cringe­wor­thy admis­sion in just about any­body else, but from her, it’s pret­ty dang cute.)

The nec­es­sar­i­ly low-pro­file hon­oree sur­prised no one by fail­ing to accept his award in per­son. Rather than send­ing Sacheen Lit­tle­feath­er as his proxy, he prof­fered a delight­ful, self-mock­ing short film, which you can see above.

The short revis­its some of the high points of Bet­ter In Than Out, last fal­l’s month-long, piece-a-day takeover of New York City. Keep your eyes peeled for Sirens of the Lambs, a truck haul­ing a load of squeak­ing, osten­si­bly doomed plush farm ani­mal toys and Queens, an inflat­able tag thrown up on his final day as “Artist in Res­i­dence for the City of New York.”

My favorite work from his autum­nal siege of my city was Art Sale, in which he stocked a Cen­tral Park ven­dor table with half a mil­lion dol­lars’ worth of uncred­it­ed sten­cil art, then installed a decid­ed­ly unhip-look­ing senior cit­i­zen to man it. The day’s receipts totaled $420 from a hand­ful of tourists, one of whom suc­cess­ful­ly bar­gained her way into a 2‑for‑1 deal.

I want to know more about these peo­ple who unwit­ting­ly lucked into such a lucra­tive role in 21st-cen­tu­ry art his­to­ry, but to my con­ster­na­tion, they seem to be fly­ing incog­ni­to, just like the artist who so increased their val­ue. You know, the guy who’s all over the inter­net, with­out reveal­ing his iden­ti­ty? The Web­by Awards’ Per­son of the Year!?

Maybe if I spend anoth­er hour pok­ing around online… (A bad use of time, for all but Pat­ti Smith, who claimed it took her 48 min­utes to unsuc­cess­ful­ly down­load the video we can click with such ease, above.)

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Banksy Cre­ates a Tiny Repli­ca of The Great Sphinx Of Giza In Queens

Watch Pat­ti Smith Read from Vir­ginia Woolf, and Hear the Only Sur­viv­ing Record­ing of Woolf’s Voice

Hear Pat­ti Smith Read 12 Poems From Sev­enth Heav­en, Her First Col­lec­tion (1972)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day occa­sion­al­ly tears her­self  free of the Inter­net to labor over The East Vil­lage Inky, an entire­ly hand­writ­ten, illus­trat­ed zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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