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Banksy vs. The Oscars

Submitted by Commandrea on March 5, 2011 – 10:57 am2 Comments

By Jacob Calle: Henry Darger, Edgar Allen Poe, and Vincent van Gogh were artists who no one knew and became famous for their work after their death. Then there’s London based Banksy, a street vandal who is very well known and alive, but no one knows a clue on who he is.

His invasive satirical work has bewitched the media and can not get enough of him. He illegally displayed his paintings in the Louvre Museum, paints rats on sides of buildings, recreated Paris Hilton’s album with DJ Danger Mouse with matching barcodes and drops 500 copies across 48 UK record shops, defaced zoo exhibits, and tags on animals while keeping his real name discreetly undercover. Banksy’s agent, Steve Lazaride was even contacted by Fox to hire Banksy to write a couch gag intro for The Simpsons, which had children in a sweatshop working on Simpsons merchandise. It recieved mixed reviews, but sky rocketed the ratings, which is exactly what producer, Al Jean of The Simpsons wanted.

Banksy’s latest most talked about work is a documentary called “Exit Through the Gift Shop“, a film about Thierry Guetta, a Frenchman who resides in LA that tricked street artists into filming them for his “documentary”. While some awe in inspiration of the film, skeptics believe that this is Banksy’s greatest prank ever. Could this film be real or has he created another prank using a person as his center piece and directed a movie about it. “No, there is some people who still doesn’t believe it. Even they get the fact left and right, they still like, ‘Is it real? You make it up?’ So I guess some people keep going, keep don’t understand that it’s real. We said the fact that it’s real.” says Guetta.


With this well received documentary The Oscars have nominated his questionable film for best documentary. So here’s where the trouble lies. How will he accept his award if he wins? Will he go incognito or have one of his “people” accept it for him? Having Banksy at The Oscars raised the committees’ eyebrows. ”This is a big surprise,” he said in a statement. “I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me.”, says Banksy. Going incognito claiming that one is Banksy could be any trespassers ticket into the ceremony. After all, no one knows exactly who he is. Anyone could be Banksy at this point in time.

While The Oscars decided on Banksy’s invitation he painted  Los Angeles’ walls and signs including a deranged Mickey Mouse on a large bill board for the company Light Group on Sunset Blvd. “We thought it was really flattering,” says Beth Bartolini, director of public relations. “We picked a great spot for our billboard, and he thought so too. It was one of our generic billboards. It’s much cooler to have Banksy tag it.” Even though Banksy’s work was much applauded for CBS Outdoor, the company that owns the billboard took down the sign without permission from Light Group. CBS Outdoor said it was removed because “it did not meet our standards.” The gas station underneath the billboard offered to pay $10,000 for the artwork, but CBS refused. Banksy also painted Charlie Brown holding a gas tank on a building that had recently caught on fire. The piece was covered for protection in hopes to be sold. Finding Banksy’s art on your property is equivalent to someone handing you a lottery ticket, but that lottery ticket is taped to a wall with no protection. So your best bet is to hire a crew and rip that sucker out to preserve it’s significance and collect a check with six digits. Hell, even the museums who was pranked by Banksy now own his work and is permanently in their art collection!

Just days before the award ceremony Academy president, Tom Sherak announced  that Banksy is allowed in. “The media is making it exciting with all these questions about Banksy. I think it’s all good and if he shows up, he shows up. I won’t stop him.”, says Sherak. Many people poked fun at the idea of Banksy being there including Justin Timberlake, who claimed to be the infamous street artist. “I am Banksy. Wow, that felt good!”. As the audience laughed Timberlake made a sigh of relief with his confession, but finally the moment had came, the announcement for best documentary, which was announced by Oprah Winfrey. If you are a fan of Banksy as much as I am you would understand when I say that my emotions were running high . Then Oprah announced that “Inside Job” won best documentary. So no acceptance speech by the English bloke. Banksy never showed his face. The media created a dynamite. A dynamite with so much gun powder that it could have blown the top off the Kodak Theater. The doors are locked. There are no emergency exits. Everyone would be screaming frantically. Oprah would have tripped over her broken heel. A stampede of celebrities run over her leaving her with internal bleeding. James Franco and Anne Hathaway are filling their last sexual needs in the mop closet, but Charles Ferguson, director of “Inside Job” humbly walks over to the dynamite. He licks his fingers and puts out the wick. The dynamite is out. The fiasco is over. And Justin Timberlake? He is behind the theater with a bottle of black spray paint stenciling a rat on a wall next to a rat hole holding a sign that reads “You can win the rat race, but you’re still a rat.”

Street art is every where and Houston owns a great roster. Eyehate Eyesore, Gonzo, Coolidge, and more, but there’s one that doesn’t end and that artist is Give Up. His art is on every corner. On bridges, ditches, signs, and walls. There is no avoiding his mark. Many people view his work with a one sided view, but fail to look past the razor blade. “I want as many people to see my work as possible. To that end the gallery model doesn’t make the most sense. Plus getting up is still exciting. When saying “give up”, it can be a threat or a challenge or an affirmation or something more personal and can fluctuate from tim and date to spot to specific piece to individual interpretation. I never meant “give up” to be a monkier, but for now it’s seemed to have evolved into one.”, says Houston’s most favored street artist. The streets are the new galleries were proposals are unnecessary. So if you’ve gotta say it, spray it.

2 Comments »

  • berg says:

    I personally think that Banksy is not a real person but a collective of various artists … I cannot prove this, but I believe it … for instance the recent L.A. graffiti you refer to in this article - Banksy imitators

  • admin says:

    Berg: I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe there is one Banksy, BUT with a team. No way in hell he could get away with painting billboards without assistance and watchers.
    I hope this question may never be solved. I don’t want to know. I just love that it’s being done.

    On the billboard. How do we know it’s real or fake? It’s on his site. I guess that’s the only way that we’ll know. If it’s on his site he must be claiming it. Also with The Simpsons couch gag. I read in an interview with Al and how does he know it’s Banksy? He doesn’t know, but Banksy is the one getting credit for it so therefore it’s Banksy’s. All in all I enjoyed writing this article. It was fun. Thanks for reading.- Jacob

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