Vigilante of The Week

Neil StraussThe Loop



When I first moved to New York as a teenager, I remember seeing an old Vietnam vet at 4 a.m. one morning in St. Marks Place, crouching at the base of a streetlight. And he was meticulously laying small tiles onto the base of the light, in an elaborate design. Afterward, I started looking at the bases of traffic lights and streetlights in the East Village, and dozens had been “attacked” by his art. This is not a guy who was the next Banksy, with pieces worth millions. This was someone who just enjoyed doing his craft, who felt compelled to decorate the city with no recognition or reward whatsoever. And it moved me, which is what true art is supposed to do.

So when I heard about the latest anonymous art bandit, whose medium happens to be my favorite thing–books–I felt compelled to share it with you, especially in this time when print is dying: Who Left A Tree, Then A Coffin In The Library?

Basically, he sneaks into libraries and museums, and leaves amazingly intricate paper sculptures there–the best of them made out of books.

His latest round of “attacks” took place just last week: The Library Phantom Returns

To the Library Phantom, respect!

The photos in the post are credited to Chris Donia