Last week Runnin’ Scared reported that Nelson Saiers offered Banksy a cool $100,000 if he promised to address the Hurricane Sandy relief effort during his New York City residency. Through his website HeyBanksy.com, Saiers told the artist, “If you are willing to use your art to raise awareness for those still affected by Sandy, then I will gladly join you in supporting those still struggling by donating $100,000 to a relevant charity.” Just yesterday, the website announced that a second donor has come forward, upping the pot to $200,000 if Banksy contributed an artwork to bringing attention to the ongoing recovery effort.
But actor and multimedia artist Jeremy Redleaf thinks he can do Saiers one better. Redleaf saw Saiers’s offer in his newsfeed and figured harnessing the current exposure to street art for Sandy was a worthy goal. His answer to HeyBanksy.com, HeyNelson.com, asks Saiers to give that money even if Banksy doesn’t take up the offer and other artists do. “I’m completely confident we could mobilize something as powerful as 10 Banksys,” says Redleaf.
Saiers’ wager that Banksy would respond to his offer in the affirmative is probably a losing one, but that doesn’t mean that charitable giving to aid Sandy clean-up, now entering its second year, ought not be a gamble, too.
“I said to myself, whether he gets Banksy or not, we could probably bring the same level of awareness,” Redleaf explains to Runnin’ Scared.
So Redleaf opened HeyNelson.com to urge Saiers–and now his partner, known only as “R.D.”–to give that money even if someone else steps up to the challenge. Like, say, a local New York artist.
The website reads:
Banksy would be an incredible “Get,” but if he doesn’t respond to your letter, I bet we can find some transcendent New York City artists to raise awareness. Artists who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, who shared in our struggles and can help us heal.
I’d just hate to see your generous donation offer go to waste.
“New York artists are incredibly generous, especially when its something for New York,” says Redleaf, noting that many New York artists are themselves victims of the hurricane and might also be among those still coming back from the storm.
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Redleaf himself doesn’t know if Saiers is open to the idea. “I have not heard from Nelson yet.” Runnin’ Scared contacted Saiers, and will add his comment as soon as we receive a response.