Thursday, February 17, 2011

Banksy who? Los Angeles tears down artist's Mickey Mouse graffiti billboard not realising it could be worth a fortune


Distinctive work: Banksy has apparently been making his mark on LA with graffiti displays on billboards

When street artist Banksy arrived in Los Angeles earlier this week, he wasted no time in making his mark on the city.

The elusive artist - who is nominated for an Oscar for his 2010 documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop - is suspected of being behind a number of Banksy-style piece which have appeared on walls and billboards in the city in recent days.

Among these was a depiction of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, which sees Mickey downing a cocktail and putting his arm provocatively around a scantily-clad model, which appeared on a billboard above a petrol station on Sunset Strip.

According to the celebrity website, the image caused great excitement, with a stream of fans visiting the area to admire the work.

However not everybody is such a big fan, it seems. Officials removed the poster from the billboard the following day, despite the site reporting that the petrol station owners had offered to pay $10,000 for it.

Other works which have sprung up in the past few days include an image of a child holding a machine gun loaded with crayons, standing in a field of brightly-coloured flowers, which appeared on the wall of a clothes shop in the Westwood district.

Not so keen: The gas station next door to the billboard loved Banksy's work - but it was taken down just a few days later

'Banksy has often pointed fun at the military industrial complex,' Sebastian Buck, author of the street art blog Unurth, told The Independent.

'Putting a gun in a kid's hand is a striking way to do that, then twisting it by replacing bullets with crayons, so there's only peaceful intent, that's very clever.'

An image of a dog urinating on a wall also showed up in Beverly Hills, while a picture of a Charlie Brown figure starting a fire appeared on the side of a burned-out building on Sunset Boulevard.

Making his mark: Another Banksy work, of a child with a machine gun loaded with crayons, in a field of flowers, was spotted behind a clothes shop in Westwood

It is not the first time Banksy has left images on walls in the U.S.

He visited Los Angeles around the time that Exit Through The Gift Shop was released, and left his mark with a stencil drawing of a policeman walking a balloon-shaped dog.

And several Banksy-style images were left on walls in Park City, Utah, when he attended the Sundance Film Festival last year.

Tongue-in-cheek: The unidentified works of art - including this dog - have been springing up all over Los Angeles in recent days

His work also surfaced in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Banksy's film Exit Through The Gift Shop - dubbed 'the world's first street art disaster movie' - focuses on French videographer Thierry Guetta and his insider look at underground artists at work.

If he wins the Oscar on February 27, it will be collected on his behalf by the film's co-producer Jaimie D'Cruz, since the artist's identity remains a mystery and he does not show his face in public.

source: dailymail

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