Banksy Caught Red-Handed On Melrose Last Night?

by Emily Green · February 24, 2011

Banksy Children at PlayNew street art in the Melrose area surfaced last night, supposedly while the artist was in the act. This wouldn't be all that riveting of a sighting, except the culprit is allegedly Banksy who made L.A., the blogosphere, and international news media his bitch last week when he marked his territory all over town as we all stood and watched like a bunch of mouthbreathers.

According to NY Magazine's Vulture, reader Katrina Elder wrote in describing her encounter with the master at work on the Joyrich Building at Melrose and Spaulding last night, adding that when caught, he "threw down a few stickers that say 'DESIRE OBTAIN CHERISH.'" Hmmm...

Banksy Children at playVulture says this is the latest in the Oscar nominated artist's L.A. hype campaign, which consisted of at least four hits last week, leading up to the awards show. But I don't think so. Not that we think the elusive Banksy is actually a real individual person at this point, but Elder's story raises some questions.

Firstly, was it really Banksy and not someone else? The art depicts young girls wearing gas masks, a common theme in "Banksy's" works, but L.A. street art blog Melrose+Fairfax also reported the new art this morning and made no such attribution. With their knowledge and dedication to the subject, wouldn't they dub this a Banksy, whom they've been tracking closely, if they thought it was one?

The other peculiarity in the story is the 'DESIRE OBTAIN CHERISH' stickers part. DOC is a local street art collective that's been pretty active recently and was even spotted this morning by Melrose+Fairfax working on a new Oscar-themed piece at the Joyrich building. I'm going to say this is no coincidence. And why would Banksy run around L.A. promoting another street art team? I guess it's possible he wants to show his support for his art form on a local level but it's a bit bizarre, no?

Left: sticker Vulture reader says Banksy threw down last night via; Right: Desire Obtain Cherish stickers for purchase on their website

I think what Vulture's eyewitness saw was not Banksy or Banksy collaborator, but someone from DOC perhaps trying catch a ride on the mysterious graffiti artist's hype wave and get some recognition. If that's the case, then a tip of the hat to them for succeeding.

Oh Banksy, look what you made me do! Here I am AGAIN writing paragraphs about you and I don't even think you're real.

Go HERE, HERE and HERE to see what Banksy was up to in L.A. last week!

[Top photos via Melrose+Fairfax]