Sunday, February 27, 2011

Banksy in L.A.: The Academy Awards Edition

I'm sitting in my living room at this moment watching, like many others around the country, the Academy Awards. One person in town for the event is world renowned street artist Banksy. How do we know he is in L.A.? Because he left his tracks on the eastside of town.

Photo taken from

The blogger, LA Eastside found this Banksy original on the corner of 1st and Soto St, in a part of town known as East L.A. or Boyle Heights. From those not from Los Angeles, this area sits in the shadows east of Downtown L.A. and is home to many Latino immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, cultural centers like Josefina Lopez's Casa 0101 and Corazon del Pueblo, as well as long lasting Mexican-American families like my own. My grandparents moved into a home only blocks from this corner 50 years ago when they first came to the U.S., and my grandmother continues to live in that same home today. This is what I often call, my L.A. As young and beautiful people from all over the country continue to flock to Los Angeles every year, heads filled with dreams of being high, hip, and on TV, there is another L.A., my L.A. that is rich with culture and a long history.

Banksy is currently in L.A. for an Academy nomination for his documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. It's good to know that true artists will always work to bring light to a greater struggle. Banksy may be in Los Angeles to participate in the Hollywood dream, but he is also aware of its reality.

And the reality of street art is nothing lasts, as shown in this post by Melrose & Fairfax blog.

Photo taken from

One or two days after going up, Banksy's latest stencil was tagged by a graffiti artist before the whole thing was cut out of the wall, probably to be auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some seem outraged by the vandalism of Banksy's piece and the cutting of the wall, but I'm sure Banksy is more than happy with this one piece's journey. It is what Exit Through the Gift Shop is about, after all. Banksy isn't working under some naive belief that his artwork will be left alone. But I like to believe that the owners of that building, those who cut the wall, are a hardworking, immigrant family who could use the extra money to send their kids to school. That would make for a nice Hollywood fantasy. Maybe Selena Gomez will play the smart, but sassy daughter who can finally head to Stanford after struggling all through her youth selling oranges on the street in the Movie. Take that Christian Bale.

No comments:

Post a Comment