11/01/2013 05:32 pm ET

Table Talk: Banksy In New York


This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

An anonymous artist who goes by the name "Banksy" has just finished up a remarkable month-long project in New York. Starting on October 1, he turned the city into a giant gallery. Instead of hanging his work on a wall somewhere, he put his drawings on buildings, streets and anywhere else he saw fit. In order to view the exhibit, which Banksy calls "Better Than Out," fans had to go to every day and find out where the next piece would be.

All of this mystery created a bit of a frenzy. Few people have seen the artist, and those who have say it's best not to reveal his identity. Throughout the month, bloggers tried to find him putting up his art, but he works in secret because, for one, his work is illegal, considered by law enforcement to be vandalism -- and the police were after him.

But the secret is also a part of his point. The whole project is what some call a social experiment. On one of the days, he even gave away paintings he made (which were valued at around $40,000!) for only $60.00 via a street vendor. Banksy told the New Yorker that doing so reminded him of the days before he was famous. “I think it was easier when I was the underdog, and I had a lot of practice at it," he said.

Banksy's project gets at so many important issues. Tonight, let's talk about them.

Questions for discussion:
  • What do you think Banksy is trying to tell us by creating his artwork in secret?
  • Why do you think Banksy chose to show off his art in public places instead of in a gallery?
  • Would you want to see Banksy's art if he came to your neighborhood -- even if he wasn't supposed to paint there?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.



Banksy In NYC