Banksy sightings around Los Angeles: Publicity stunt, or is the elusive artist really here? [updated]
First there's the one in Westwood dubbed "Crayola Shooter." Here's a great shot of chef Jamie Oliver mugging in front of the "Shooter," which appears on the back of an Urban Outfitters in the college neighborhood. Then there's one known as "Charlie Brown Firestarter," spotted on Sunset Boulevard. And here's another possible piece by Banksy.
Whether he's here and whether these are, in fact, his works remain to be seen, but the timing is curious, and the Banksy experts out there seem to believe they contain the man's artistic trademarks.
Update: We've got some verification on what is Banksy's work and what isn't. If you go to his website, you can see his latest work and it includes the Crayola Shooter, Charlie Brown Firestarter, the billboard on Sunset and Laurel featuring an inebriated Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and the urinating dog, in Beverly Hills. Evidently, the girl holding the sledge hammer is not the work of the famed artist. No word on the meaning of all these pieces, but the man is definitely in the hood.
Oscar ballots aren't due until Tuesday, so it's not a huge leap in logic to speculate that those behind Banksy's Oscar-nominated documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" are involved in the sudden flood of Banksy sightings that have been cropping up around Los Angeles. (Though it would be rather anti-Banksy for him to participate in an Oscar campaign.)
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: In this film publicity image released by Paranoid Pictures, graffiti artist Banksy is shown in a scene from "Exit Through the Gift Shop."