The Webby Awards named Banksy “Person of the Year” last week and he was a no show. The host, Patton Oswalt accepted the award and looked down at his speech, joking, “Somebody painted over it”.
The Webby Awards is proud to honor Banksy as Person of the Year for his “Better Out Than In” show in New York City this past October. Though the artworks themselves were primarily painted or staged on physical objects in New York, the true showcase took place on screens across the world. The curiosity and intrigue was palpable across all forms of digital media. 350,000 people followed Banksy’s one-month, one-picture-a-day Instagram account. Particular pieces delved even deeper, leading viewers from Instagram to digital works on his (now bare) website.
New Yorkers followed the roving exhibit on Foursquare and posted photos and videos to Tumblr, Vine, YouTube, and Twitter (where #banksy was used over 38,000 times during the month), and appreciating fans around the world tuned in.
Not many people would make a logical connection between graffiti and the Internet, but Banksy not only showed the world what that looks like, but he made people care about it, too. For providing a glimpse into the potential future of art on the Web, Banksy truly deserves to be named Webby Person of the Year.
In reply, Banksy put this short video together, narrated to remind us of his “residency” in New York last October which he described as a ‘city wide full contact game of hide and seek” The video alleges to the age of Banksy at the very end, 38, but who knows if this is true. The video also reveals Vandal Squad officer Verez’s digits (he left his calling card at many spots Banksy hit up).