Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Banksy's Livin the Dream Was An Inside Job

Apparently, Banksy's 'Livin It Up' billboard takeover in LA was not a billboard takeover at all. Click the jump for more

We have already covered the drama going down between CBS and The Light Group fighting over who owned the Banksy piece.

But Wearology is reporting on the Banksy Forums that the billboard space was arranged to be painted, as a gift to The Light Group who helped finance Exit Through the Gift Shop.

This information opens a whole new slew of questions, and people are now speculating whether the piece was actually painted before hand and installed, rather than bombed on site.

And a whole new round of finger pointing calling Banksy a 'sell-out' for doing this.

Honestly, it loses some magic for us to hear that it was not a ballsy billboard takeover, but a pre-arranged wealthy corporate 'thank you'.


  1. Quick, go check for matching paint splatter up there.

  2. A story without sources is just rumor. People want Banksy to be a sell-out, so they can justify their jealousy of his success.

  3. As i've said before...Banksy is nothing more then a commercial Marketing Artist!!!
    He is what he once was soooo against...there are know who you are!!!

  4. My "inside sources" say that Wearology is wrong.

  5. He blurs the line and that's the appeal to me anyway. He blurs the lines so much people get dizzy and confused. It's awesome. Just enjoy it or hate it. Both are entertaining avenues to adventure down apparently!

  6. Most artists that are "successful" are called sell-outs...its the "starving" ones that are keeping it real.

  7. People don't have a problem when JR, Blu or Shepard Fairy get permission to do work and also bomb illegally. Should Banksy not be allowed to do the same? He's still making a point about the Hollywood culture altering imagery that is poignantly common (Mickey Mouse, half naked women). If he doesn't have to get arrested by doing it than more power to him. He didn't profit from it so how is it selling out? It's not like the buzz even helped him get an Oscar so who cares?

  8. Just because someone is successful you are a sell out?

    So if i go to a bar to pull some pussy and i go home successful.... does that make me a sell out? NO... it makes me the guy getting the pussy!

    Stop hating on people that are making it happen!

  9. Feels like the thing being lost within this artist community is that art requires PARTICIPATION for it to be art. Whether other artists or even the artist him/herself perceives this billboard to be a sell out is barely relevant. You're ignoring the viewer as an innate part of the process. Art is inherently a way to share expression with others... key word being "share". Whether you appreciate the reaction of masses... well, you can always not participate, right?

    Staged or not, the piece is interesting, turning beloved childhood images into a scene of debasement for the sake of amusement... a slap to vegas, children's programing and hollywood in one shot. I enjoyed the piece.

    The people who call this selling out: Those accusations are the stuff of envy, greed, jealousy (which often makes for a solid motivation for art), but they ultimately are knee-jerk reactions to a much deeper rooted sense of fear and failure (which makes for an even more profound artistic experience).

    I know some artists are burning about Banksy, and some have done a fantastic job of showing their caustic reaction in stickers and other art that I'm really enjoying... they've created a dialog about this artform, allowing all who walk the streets to engage in it.

    Bottom line: It's all good. Really.

  10. The word "sell-out" is so abused by jealous, underground wannabes whining about their short comings. If you're good at something, why not get paid for it. If you keep the attitude of doing art for art but still become successful at it as far as money is concerned then good for you. It's when people get so immersed in the fame, money, and spotlight that they forget what doing art is really about, then they are "selling-outs".

    Haters Gunna Hate...

  11. The issue isn't whether he can do both legal works and bomb the streets, it's the fact that he represented the work as being a bomb when it was essentially sponsored the corporation that funded his film.

    I wrote another post about this newest episode:

  12. How did Banksy misrepresent his work? Where did he claim it as a "bomb" all he did was post a picture of it on his website. He never claimed it to be anything but paint on a billboard and that is what it is. It's paint on a billboard.

    There is no substantiated evidence to what anyone has said as far as it being conspiratorial.

    Just because you like the idea of Banksy being a "sell-out" does not make your rumored conspiracy theories true.

  13. I aspire to be a sell-out one day, so I can park my rocket car in my house made of gold.

  14. Have you ever seen a LEGAl piece on a billboard? That idea is ridiculous in the first place. Just look at the way people reacted to it. You can't seriously tell me that you thought that this was a legal work when you first saw it.

    I am not trying to discredit Banksy or portray him as a sell out. I love most of his work and still view him as one of the most interesting, provocative artists in the world. The fact that I have spent so much time writing about him over the past few weeks should illustrate that I view him as one of the most important people in the art world.

    The most important criteria for art, in my opinion, is that it is open for public consumption, whether on the street, or in a gallery or museum. When I see a beautiful Banksy ripped down to be sold in a gallery, or given to a corporate friend, the art loses its luster and influence. I am pained just as much when any street art is buffed, or cut from the wall.

    If these accusations are not true, I'm sorry for perpetuating them, but the basic fact is that much of Banksy's work has been removed from public consumption with his consent or not.

  15. Great comments on this thread. ;-)

  16. i think left-c has it exactly right. in the early days banksy was slipping art into museums and galleries and the joke was on them. fantastic! if this stuff is true the tables are turned; he's slipped fake bombing up and the joke's on us. but it isn't so funny or fun if its just another goliath trumps david. i mean what's brilliant is classic audacious outlaw banksy! pre-arranged corporate sponsor back scratching just isn't unusual, charming or clever. it's BO-ring! but even that's ok as long as it's not pretending to be something else. hope it's not true.


    this piece is no different then when Augor MSK did the "there will be blood" billboard. he went up, took the billboard down, took it to a location where he could do his work, then he went and hung it up. Banksy did essentially the same thing. painted his piece(which im not sure it was him, cross ref it against all his other works, totally diff style). then they put it up. both didnt claim to do the work on site, they posted pictures and the "fans" made their assumptions about it.

    not credit/discrediting the work or your point, just my .02

  18. L-C, I didn't assume it was legal work, but you're claiming that Banksy is misrepresenting himself. Yet, he never claimed that it wasn't a pre-planned stunt. That was your assumption. So how is that misrepresenting himself? Because he played with your expectation? That's what good artists do they play with people's expectations.

    Regardless I'm still skeptical that it was a conspiracy, just because something could have happened doesn't mean it did. People like to believe conspiracy theories because they seem more interesting than the truth.

  19. i cant believe this will be the 19th comment on this post.


  20. It is his style too: he's done a lot of different styles through the time and many of his earlier work is exactly like this. He's much more versatile that most people seem to think; I recommend you check both his books and the fan forums for older work.

  21. So much controversy and dialog going on, the more we want to know about things the less magical and mysterious it is. Banksy posting Voina's bail? BNE creating a foundation, there's always some sort of retribution going on in the back end. The smartest thing to make a movement legitimate is by monetizing it's marketing prowess. The more we dig for information, the less of an impact it has on reaching new eyes.

    I've followed this blog for a month or two now and wish only one thing, to focus content on anything but Banksy. Feels as if the States are bastardizing an icon by throwing money at it, typical americans.

    Banksy if you're reading this which I doubt you are, go back to EU and bring awareness to less populated origins with your art work, that is the true essence in which we all fell in love.