Banksy on the Eastside


Caution – Banksy

The world’s most notorious street artist and visual prankster, Banksy, who is in town for the Oscars (his film Exit Through the Gift Shop is nominated for Best Documentary) made it east of the river to leave the residents of Boyle Heights a small visual gift for us to enjoy. It seems he is much more clued in to local politics than I thought and he is aware no doubt, that this piece might bring some attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants. Perhaps all those Oscar folks and celebrity gossipers will be forced to talk about something slightly political for once.

There’s no need to keep the location secret as the word is spreading rapidly. Plus the piece is totally visible from the street. It’s in the alley on the southwest corner of 1st and Soto. When I was there this afternoon, there was no one around and no one taking photos. There is however a film crew shooting a new movie about J Edgar Hoover right around the corner.

Bienvenido to the Eastside, Banksy!

Hollywood: Banksy redefines the Oscar Campaign, Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2011.

*Rumor has it that there are more of these stencils around Boyle Heights like for instance, on Pleasant and Cesar Chavez near the bridge.

H/T to the Boyle Heights Facebook page.

UPDATE 2/25/11: Such ridiculousness, it makes me LOL, I tell ya. The Banksy piece got tagged by someone who rolled up in car, sprayed over it and took off. Then, the owners of the building came by and cut it out the wall! Ah, the art world!
H/T to Melrose + Farifax, check the site for photos.

Video (including the piece on the bridge near Pleasant) by Jessica2Cents of Mis Neighbors here.

According to one of our Facebook readers, the second Caution piece on Pleasant has been tagged by a “$” sign but it’s still there.

19 thoughts on “Banksy on the Eastside

  1. I’m from Boyle Heights and i dont like the fact that privileged people can go around the world and “comment” on social issues…fuck your comment Banksy, put in work with the people not just to self promote as a “Street Artist” to get cred…..i know people who have been doing art for the cause not for selfish reasons for over 40 years….he’s a fraud.

    Boyle He…ights, give credit to your native daughters and sons, Margaret Garcia, Carlos Callejo, Gilbert Magu Lujan, John Valadezjhnnv, Salomon Huerta, Ernesto de la Loza, George Yepes, Gronk Nicandro, Judy Baca, Willie Herron, Wayne Healy, Paul Botello, David Botello, Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, Pete the Painter, Felix the Cat, Leo Limon and the father of graffiti Chaz Bojorquez…………….el maestro!! of course Hector Ponce, Charles Freeman, Noni Olabisi, Elliott Pinkney, Charles White……

    come on gente!!! get it together!!

    from a person in the know, Banksy….”He is a trust found baby from an English family that’s why he will not give his name up or face up.”….H.L.

    “that shits offensive ……this fu has the five largest pr firms to rep him…has a camera crew follow him…..hires contractors to get some of his pieces back to sell them for feria….is that a street artist?”………Rick da Ruler

    “so is Shepherd Farley that’s why they get along so well
    You need to ask you self this question how did they have the money to travel around the world and do there art b4 they became known artist”……H.L.

    i dont buy the hype that he will bring attention to issues, because of the fact is we are talking about him, the only issue that comes up in my point of view is : Privilege and Power, who can create “illegal” art and who cant. and he’s going to the “oscars” or he got nominated?? what ever, fuck that foo…..im spreading the word to the Real Street Artist, and we gonna diss his wack shit……

  2. I agree with you R—but we can’t hate the systems that were made to exclude us and our art. We will NEVER get in–EVER. In them, the first to publish, to screen–gets the credit. That’s why we gotta make our own films, create our own collectors, write our own books, found our own museums—its the only way to speak out in this society. There are a bunch of fresa artists in Mexico too—soaring on their privileged connections.

    Love the post Chimatli! Interesting to think that he would want to ‘recognize’ and add his mark to where all the greats mentioned above have been. I think its an homage—but it does hurt when our best street artists are excluded from an international street art exhibit at LACMA!! Copiones are being shipped in for it. Chaz is the only one that made the cut—as a panelist. That’s just sad.

  3. i think bansky is exactly what Raul pointed out and somewhat overrated.

    it is just the same old same old. then the rich pretend to roll with and like us in our art they get the $$$ and spotlight. nothing revolutionary there.

  4. I don’t know much about Banksy’s background or his class upbringing. There are folks who travel around the world that don’t have much money. They save up their pennies for airfare and stay with friends in other countries.
    Also, I have heard Banksy was in Chiapas during the 90s so I imagine he has some understanding of the issues on this continent.
    Anyways, I like his stuff. I think of it as a detournment of the fucked up elitist art world the same one that excludes Chicano artists and other people that don’t have connections. I’m not gonna blame Banksy for taking the elitists money.
    It’s interesting what Victoria says about creating DIY art, spaces, museums etc. That’s what we’re doing with this here blog. You think we get any credit for the stuff we write about on this blog from mainstream media or other folks? But whatever, we don’t look to them for validation or respect, if we did, we’d be waiting around a long ass time.
    In any case, this blog has featured lots of local murals, muralists and other artists. So it’s not like we’re writing about Banksy at the exclusion of local artists. I don’t blame local folks for being mad about not getting respect or recognized but I’m not sure how that’s Banksy’s fault. On the other hand, if you don’t like his work, you don’t like it. To each her own.

  5. I bet this is going to turn out to be the work of some local Chicano Artist and won’t some people be all backtracking! Jaja, I can’t wait. This one is ok but not as interesting as most of the Banksy work I’ve seen. He might be a dick in real life, but yes, I do like the commentary he makes as it always has some political undertones that take a minute to flow out to reveal some meaning, not like much of the simple stuff that passes for political these days.

    I’d treat him to a beer.

  6. Bansky paints a wall in Boyle Heights– it’s art.

    Saber & MTA paint the levees along the L.A. River– it’s tagging.

    I can’t stand the pedestal on which Bansky and Fairey are placed but other, local artists are denigrated, maybe because of how they started, where they do their work, or it could be something as base as their last name or ethnic heritage.

    People, male up your fking mind. Either people who traffic in this medium are all artists or destroyers of property. You can’t have it both ways.

  7. Much love to the local artists all over LOS and a BIG FU to the system to tries to squash em… but how is that the fault of Banksy? If anything his work has taken a stand to critique the issue of whos art makes it into the the museums, who has that access… For example, He rode up into a museum and real quick slapped his work up on the wall as it was already framed so it would blend in, yet the art itself was classic Banksy so it would stand out in contrast… a critique of the art system showin that “By Any Means Necessary” we will create and represent wherever we want. So im sure that whatever homies background is, he is in solidarity with all street artists world wide and for sure with the Raza that been bleedin their paint all over our walls since day one. And for sure he isnt the one that set the tone of discrimination against poor folks of color who are postin their amazing visions on walls, rather his recent pieces are a BIG UPS SALUTE to our communities cultural revolution and resistance… Wanna point the finger then we should get at the system and its stooges like Gloria Molina! For that matter do ur thang homies… pinch them pennies (forget the nonsense things we sometimes spend $ on) and travel, break out them cans and get outta the hood to share the brilliance (that comes from our hoods in LOS) with the rest of the world … post up some real radical pieces world wide if you havent yet and just keep that paint flowin cuz they cant ever stop our expression. Our creativity runs strong like the paint flowin from our cans.

  8. ¬°Que chulada, Chulo! Eloquence is always stronger than “victim” mentality absolutism. The world is not Black and White. Subtleties, nuance, and an unemotional understanding of the complexities of humanity is always more powerful in the long run. A win for Best Doc for “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a win for all graff.

  9. There’s this weird “Robin Hood potential” in Banksy’s work. Because it’s so valuable, anywhere he puts one, he instantly transfers potential wealth onto the property owner, basically dumping a lottery ticket in their lap. The most or maybe only interesting thing about his work is the way anything he does at this point stirs this pot of money around.

  10. I think any artist/ art tends to get distorted once you put in on a pedestal. You get all these “experts” talking about how great is and stroking ego. But at the same time a persons got to eat, got to pay bills. cant hold it against them for taking money for doing their thing.
    That said, i also really don’t think you can compare tagging the river to creative art.
    Its one thing to do something creative or that playfully critiques society. Its another to try tag your name or crew.

  11. I know there have been a few people upset, in the face of all the Banksy art poppin up and gathering attention, that our local artists arent gettin the play they deserve for their hard work in culture production thats been out here for decades, hence the “Banksy-Bashin”…. well peep this, here is your opportunity to replace Banksy…

    http://www.remezcla.com/2011/latin/fill-in-the-blanksy-banksy-art-contest/

    Got make it clear that I love Banksy and my community artists… I love consious artists! I think we all on the same page… unfortunately the people on top got us trippin (as usual…as its nothin different as how they get Blacks vs. Browns fighting…now they got us trippin on whos art is validated…but thats a system issue)
    At the end of the day its bout creating, and gettin a vision on there….

  12. I know there have been a few people upset, in the face of all the Banksy art poppin up and gathering attention, that our local artists arent gettin the play they deserve for their hard work in culture production thats been out here for decades, hence the \”Banksy-Bashin\”…. well peep this, here is your opportunity to replace Banksy…

    http://www.remezcla.com/2011/latin/fill-in-the-blanksy-banksy-art-contest/

    Got make it clear that I love Banksy and my community artists… I love consious artists! I think we all on the same page… unfortunately the people on top got us trippin (as usual…as its nothin different as how they get Blacks vs. Browns fighting…now they got us trippin on whos art is validated…but thats a system issue)
    At the end of the day its bout creating, and gettin a vision on there…. SO ALL YOU HOMIES WIT THA SKILLS…HECHA GANAS!… AND GET IN THE RING AND SHOW US WATCHA GOT! SHOW THE COMMUNITY SOME LOVE WIT THEM ART SKILLZ!

  13. I don’t agree that Chicano artists are excluded. The Chicano art movement was basically the 60s to the 70s, and broke into the system a lot more than other art movements by oppressed people. It didn’t make it as big into the mainstream as the Harlem Renaissance.

    It’s really up to scholars to write about the art in terms of art history. Within LA, I think Chicano art’s been displayed at most of the museums. Within America it’s kind of recognized, at least in some big cities.

    Victoria makes a good point. Everything needs to be documented. Document and publish. Get in on an art blog at least. Get scholars “in the system” to mention you. (I actually asked an artist about why was it that some art from way back wasn’t known. The gist of the answer was that it wasn’t documented.)

    All the brazen promotion that Banksy does is part of what makes someone famous.

    If he didn’t do that, he’d just be another graffiti artist, because as clever as his stuff is, it’s not *that* mindblowing. It seems like middle class English humor.

  14. To deny any aspect of a revolutionary movement is to deny the revolution.Viva Banksy Viva la Raza.

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