Banksy hits LA

Photo by Lord Jim

So with the Oscars less than a week away and an Oscar nomination under his belt, of course Banksy has hit up LA with some new work. Some of it’s good, some of it is barely worth a mention and all of it is getting lots of attention.

My personal favorite from this series of hits is the above billboard, the aftermath of which can be seen in this video. Expect it to show up on eBay any day now.

The other piece I really like is this Charlie Brown on a burnt out building:

Photo by Lord Jim

Hieronymus spotted the Charlie Brown piece getting covered by the property management company. His thoughts on the subject as well as on the general way that Banksy’s outdoor work has such a strange life these days are worth checking out. I would pretty much echo his sentiments. There’s also this video of the piece getting covered, but not much is clear except that the building owners want the work covered for now.

I think with either of those two pieces, they’d be worth mentioning even if they weren’t by Banksy, and that should be the measure by which his work is judged. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and massive amounts of attention have also been paid to every new Banksy in LA, even the two mediocre ones. First, there’s Dog Wizz, which is kinda funny I guess but definitely not top-notch Banksy work:

Photo by Hieronymus

And then there’s this piece which looks to me like something Mr. Brainwash would dream up after looking at Banksy and Dran’s stuff for a bit too long:

Photo by Lord Jim

Besides being a really weak concept compared to the rest of Banksy’s work with kids drawing, there are a few crazy things about this crayon-gun stencil: It was first “discovered” by Lauren Conrad from The Hills and she posted a photo on her twitter. As Hrag speculates, this was pretty clearly staged for maximum publicity for both Lauren and Banksy. Additionally, there’s this painting by Nils Westergard from about a year ago that is pretty similar, so if you like this Banksy but can’t afford to hire somebody to chop a wall out for you, you can always buy the Westergard version on canvas for $500. I’m not saying that Banksy ripped off Westergard, just trying to point out how simple the concept of a crayon-gun is (then again, you could argue that the simple concepts are what makes some of Banksy’s art so good). Finally, I think it’s pretty hilarious to see Banksy fans loving this piece when the first thing it made me think of is that infamous Mr. Brainwash image of Elvis holding a toy gun instead of a guitar. Honestly, the concept of this piece seems so MBW-esque to me, even though the style is obviously Banksy’s. Oh, and it looks like somebody trashed this wall already.

So that’s Banksy’s most recent LA advertising campaign. Some good art and lots of hype. Hopefully it all works in his favor, because I’d still love to see him win that Oscar on Sunday. I just re-watched Exit Through The Gift Shop last week for the first time since the premiere, and I liked it more the second time around. It’s not a bad film.

Photos by Lord Jim and Hieronymus