NEW YORK CITY — Banksy, the elusive street artist that swept through New York City last year leaving a trail of his unique work in mostly illegal spots including walls, vacant lots and city construction sites, last week won a Webby.
Surprising few, the anonymous graffiti and live performance artist didn't show up to accept the prestigious award honoring him as "Person of the Year." Instead, he submitted a video and five-word prepared statement that was read by host Patton Oswalt.
The speech: "Oh, somebody painted over it."
The YouTube user "banksy" posted the video Sunday, which was filled with a recap and commentary of some of the highlights of his work in the city last October.
In the video, the voiceover actor, who speaks for the doggedly undercover artist, confesses some of the intentions and thinking behind Banksy's art that appeared over that month, although all of the pieces had been previously documented and explained on his website.
"In October...Banksy became the Artist in Residence of New York. An honor so prestigious he made it up and awarded it to himself," reads the narrator, over shots of a plane landing at JFK.
"Many Banksy fans wanted to leave him messages of support," it goes on, with images of people's tagged words covering the artwork, including "Banksy Go Home!"
It also revealed that he found two tracking devices, according to the narrator, that the artist presumably discovered on or in with his equipment while staging pieces in New York. The video accuses the NYPD of trying to catch him in the act.
It includes a close-up of a business card left at an art gallery by a member of the NYPD's Vandal Squad, the narrator says.
Banksy's New York residency was documented in an ongoing blog kept by the artist through the month, and on Twitter and Instagram feeds.
"Although it took place entirely on the street, the show found its true residence online," the Webby judges wrote. "Becoming less an art show than a citywide, full-contact game of hide and seek."
The Webby Awards, which annually celebrate "the Internet's greatest pioneers" according the website, were announced May 20.