CULTURE & ARTS
11/13/2014 05:36 pm ET Updated Nov 13, 2014

Why The Banksy Documentary Isn't Really About Banksy

If you live in New York, you've probably heard of Banksy, the elusive and anonymous English street artist whose works have become mythical for their stealth as much as their social impact. For those unaware of him, good news: a documentary on the Banksy phenomenon comes out soon.

The film's director, Chris Moukarbel, stopped by HuffPost Live to chat about the upcoming HBO special, "Banksy Does New York," which chronicles the artist's month-long art spree in the city.

Moukarbel and company, however, chose to go a different route in making the film rather than just contemplating the question of who Banksy is.

"For us, from the beginning, it was really a portrait of New York City and its response to Banksy. The way that his residency sort of put a frame around the city and New Yorkers that were tracking him every day," he told host Ricky Camilleri. "Also, I don't know if it's possible to hunt Banksy. That seemed like a hopeless endeavor."

In that month, October 2013, Banksy would make a piece daily, post a clue about the piece's location online and let fans figure out where it lived. It became more than just street art, Moukarbel said.

"It was this idea to use the street — he's a street artist — but also imagining the internet as a new street because it is another public space," he said. "So as a street artist, what does it mean to engage that other type of public space? So much of the work was playing out online simultaneously."

"Banksy Does New York" comes out Nov. 17 on HBO.

Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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