November 1, 2013
Does Banksy care about HIV? I don't know. What I do know is that the artist re-worked a painting purchased from Housing Works, and then gave it back to the HIV organization so it could be auctioned off. That auction ended at 8 p.m. on Oct. 31 with the leading bid at US$615,000.
A quick Google search of Banksy didn't yield much information about his charitable habits. Perhaps he cares very deeply about HIV. Perhaps Housing Works was just the perfect vehicle for the artist to transport his artist vision. Perhaps both are the case.
The end result, though, as expressed by David Raper, Housing Works SVP for Retail Businesses, on the home page of the Housing Works website is:
Housing Works cannot express how fortunate we feel to have been a part of the Banksy residency in New York. The generous donation of his artwork will allow us to do so much good for our clients dealing with the dual crisis of homelessness and AIDS that still plagues our city streets.
Banksy's art has generated excitement, admiration and controversy, among many other reactions. In this case, his art has also helped the HIV community -- and not just monetarily, but by drawing attention to Housing Works and thereby to the important work that it does.
Thank you, Banksy.