Banksy came to New Orleans this week to pay homage to our fair city and share the love for our struggles with the recovery. In the style that is uniquely Banksy, he has highlighted our frustration with the turtle's pace of recovery and the rats running various public offices.
New Orleans has had its share of problems, and we've had our share of corruption and we've had it up to HERE with crime, but I still believe in our city. I still believe in the inherent good of the majority of the people. I still believe in the light that radiates the soul of the city...the light of music, food and art. We are a culturally wealthy city, worthy of a greatness that is being robbed from us on a daily basis by corrupt politicians and their award giving friends.
And what do we do? Do we sit around and bitch about the ailments? NO! We get up off our butts and we rebuild our homes, we rebuild our communities and we rebuild our spirit! And here is a world famous artist, coming to our fair city, putting in the hours and doing what he does best to show what he sees of our city. There will be no more loitering in New Orleans, for we simply cannot afford it.
So what can you do? You can be an active part of the change in New Orleans. Get involved. Read the major blogs in the city to see what is really going on. Be the change you wish to see. I've adopted a new personal motto: Paint the change you wish to see. Sure, it's a ripped off adaptation, but that is how I feel and that is how would like to make a difference in this city.
It has long been the goal of NoLA Rising to build up the many individuals that comprise the people of the city. We want to beautify the way we do things. Sure, life isn't all black and white, there are many shades of grey in between, but we can't let all those shades of grey end up being the same one. And those of us here at NoLA Rising are glad that an artist like Banksy has joined in the commentary against the Grey Ghost.
So, when people ask me what I am doing for the anniversary of Katrina, I can simply say that I am appreciating that fact that an artist like Banksy would honor our city with his artwork. I've said for awhile now that what we needed in this city was Banksy and by sheer good fortune, he has arrived. This is an inspiration for bigger things to come in New Orleans. If you're young and talented, see this as an invitation to join the movement for meaningful artwork in public and not as a challenge. Chances are, none of you may ever achieve the notoriety that Banksy has, not the sheer moxy, but one of you could and it could start here. I believe in you!
So get out there and be creative. Paint the change you wish to see in your city! If a bloke from England can come all the way across "the pond" to beautify our city, then you can too. In each of your own separate ways, each one of you has some amazing talent or skill that will benefit us all. Share it!
Thus, officially, ReX gives his most humble salut to Banksy, Ruler of the Rats, King of Kissing Cops, Liberator of Unjust Walls. Thank you for bringing your art to New Orleans. I bow to you and say that my city is always open to you.
New Orleans was my first love, and it shall be my last!
King of the Night