will Banksy show up at the Oscars?
His film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is one of 5 nominations in the Best Documentary Feature category. The controversial British street artist’s real identity is unknown. And the enigma is maintained in his film where he’s an on-screen narrator but only ever seen in shadow wearing a hoodie & with voice disguised. Banksy’s stenciled graffiti art appears overnight in cities around the world, without apparent witness to its execution. His work seen in the images here, a repost from May 2010, mysteriously appeared in back alleys & parking lots of downtown Toronto at the time of TO’s premiere showing of “Exit Through the Gift Shop” last Spring ( original story below). Several new pieces of Banksy's work have shown up in & around the Los Angeles area in the last 10 days so it can be assumed that he’s in Oscar‘s vicinity. Should his name be called as the winner for Documentary Feature, will he or will he not step up to the podium to collect the industry’s ultimate prize? Nobody knows...but the possibility does add a suspense factor to an event that can be tedious in its predictability. If he’s got anything at all to say, about anything, perhaps he’ll say it in true Banksy style ……after all, the Kodak Theatre has got some mighty fine blank wall space*~*
review of banksy film "exit through the gift shop"
(original post / may 15 2010)
looking for banksy.........
Toronto photographers have been in a frenzy this past week, looking for the graffiti art purported to have been left in several downtown backstreet locations by the notorious British street artist known as Banksy (his real identity has never been revealed.) A documentary film directed by Banksy opened in TO last weekend & it's believed he was here for that occasion. Somehow the press had been coerced into keeping the exact locations of the seven pieces vague, to deter vandals & taggers ( other graffiti artists who spray over others' work). Thursday I was tramping the downtown streets, in the pouring rain, looking for the Banksy art. No luck! All I got was very wet & surprised at just how much graffiti is to be found in downtown Toronto. Yesterday the Torontoist website (which also has a flickr group) told all....images of what one was looking for, exact locations & their current condition. Only 3 remain......and one of those has been 'tagged' to a degree. The others have either been completley painted over or tagged beyond recognition. The biggest surprise was to learn that one of them (above) is only steps from my own front door. It may well be the only one to survive ......because the management of Fionn MacCool's bar, on whose back wall it appeared, hired a security guard for 2 nights until they could find a professional to seal it over with clear plastic (see below). There is heated debate on various internet sites...some call Banksy a phoney, not a true street artist (he uses stencils to create his images), some cry foul at the vandalism & tagging while others argue that that is the very nature of street art....it is meant to be transitory. How did Banksy attain such international notoriety? Intrigue always helps.....the secret identity he maintains, the enigmatic overnight appearances of his pieces in various cities around the world. Photographer Tong Lam calls it "a cultural phenomenon......(his work is) a critique of capitalism, yet has itself become a commodity" In 2008 a collection of his works on canvas went for over half a million dollars, at auction. The debates rage, the vandals deface, the photographers hunt & click (me included) & Banksy, clever fellow, is laughing all the way to the bank.