Banksy hits L.A.

By the looks of more than a few local buildings and billboards, Banksy is in L.A.:

Could he be hanging around in hopes of accepting an Oscar for his nominated documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop“?


Banksy to make an appearance at the Oscars?

How do you get an anonymous graffiti artist to reveal his identity? Nominate him for an Academy Award, apparently.

Illusive and freakin’-talented-as-heck stenciler Banksy is among those nominated for Best Documentary for his film, “Exit Through The Gift Shop.”

After this years’ Oscar nominees were named in late January, this piece showed up in L.A.:

I have a hunch that this is just him playing into the hype. However, if he does show up at the awards, I’ll probably have a heart attack. *Insert fan girl squeal.*

“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.”
– Banksy, on his nomination

Anonymity, Graffiti and Film

How does a graffiti artist not only manage to remain anonymous for nearly 30 years, but also direct a film about some of the world’s most infamous street artists?

Just ask Banksy.

Who is Banksy?  Good question.

Although his true identity is unknown and Banksy is only a pseudonym, the street artist’s work can be seen on buildings from Los Angeles to Bristol to Sydney.  The only “known facts” about this guy are that he’s a Bristol native and was born in 1974.

While some might frown and look down on him for “vandalizing,” you’ve got to give him credit.  First, he’s an phenomenal artist.  Second, it’s kind of amazing that no one knows his true identity.

Plus, it’s not like he’s just some punk kid going around tagging bus benches for the hell of it. Banksy uses stencils and his artwork conveys messages about the current state of the world, be it cultural or political.

As he puts it, “Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place.  Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”

Banksy’s directorial debut came by accident.  A French documentary film maker tried to locate the artist and get his story, but Banksy turned the tables on him.  In his own words, the movie is “basically the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed.”

“Exit Through the Gift Shop” made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in Jan. 2010 and does not yet have a set release date for the U.S.

I guess he won’t be making an appearance for any premieres or award shows, huh?