With the Oscars less than two weeks away, two new graffiti pieces believed to be the handiwork of Banksy pop up in L.A. this week. How serendipitous that one featuring a crayon-shooting boy just happened to be discovered by Lauren Conrad who must have been taking a breather from the daily duties of her grueling fashion design career and writing her next great novel. Perhaps the elusive street artist is trying to generate some hype around his nod from the Academy. If these are actually the works of Banksy, that is.
The supposed Banksy hits come a few weeks after a Mr. Brainwash aka Thierry Guetta mural depicting a hoodie-donning Oscar statue surrounded by Storm Troopers surfaced with the artist's signature on La Cienega. Never a big fan of nuance, Brainwash's large illustration was not so much a reference to the Oscar nomination for the documentary he and Banksy starred in as it was an unrestrained advertisement for it.
Mr. Brainwash Oscar mural via
So has his mysterious cohort hopped aboard Exit Through The Gift Shop's campaign to win the Award with LC's discovery and another depicting a menacing, cigarette-smoking Charlie Brown found in Hollywood? Maybe even laughing in the face of the Academy for banning him from appearing masked on stage in the event he wins the Oscar? Well, if Banksy actually existed, then yes.
Banksy's Charlie Brown in Hollywood via
Yeah, I said it. I don't think Banksy is real. If Mr. Brainwash isn't Banksy, then I believe Banksy is the name under which more than one street artist tags. Let me submit to you that "Banksy" might really be a crew who hit city streets assuming the Banksy style, a distinctive brand of graffiti that seasoned street artists can replicate. Far be it from me to judge anyone for producing creative works under an alias, but we seriously doubt Banksy is a single individual.
But let's pretend for a second Banksy is a real person; how pissed do you think he is at the news that the world knows about his recent L.A. hit thanks to LC, assuming he even knows who she is. For a better understanding of why that might bum him out, here's the product description of the multifaceted reality star's novel L.A. Candy on Amazon:
"In L.A. CANDY, nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts moves to L.A. and unexpectedly becomes the star of a reality T.V. show. With fame comes wealth, hot clothes and even hotter love interests -- and Jane′s lapping it all up with her eclectic entourage of pals who are always up for a wild night out and the chance to get a piece of her spotlight. But soon Jane realizes everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be."
...You still with me? Great, because I forgot to mention that L.A. Candy made The New York Times Bestseller list. Although that fact might do some damage to whatever remnants of faith in this country you still have, the silver lining here is the very real possibility that you too could be a super successful author, even if you have the vocabulary of an 11-year-old mallrat from Laguna.
But back to Banksy, we could actually see this going two ways for him: utter disappointment and frustration that he now has an unfortunate association to "The Hills", which according to the transitive property means he's had sex with Brody Jenner. Or, if he as a sense of humor, which his documentary suggests he does, elation over the perfect irony of the situation. *If* he were a real person, of course.
Thursday, May 23
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.