The Null Device

Vandalised warehouse extravaganza

Photos from Banksy's recent exhibition in LA, or actually from a separate VIP preview. It looks like it was a great event, with the stencil pieces, sculptures, the ornate sitting room full of "remixed" paintings refusing to stay in their frames, and, of course, the elephant. They had an elephant, painted pink, wandering around the warehouse and being metaphorical. While the elephant's handlers (a company which specialises in leasing elephants, under carefully controlled conditions, for events) stated that the elephant was not in the least way harmed, animal rights groups were not satisfied with that explanation, some seeing the very stunt as an affront to the dignity of animals:
The political statement by the artist made no impression on Dyer: 'If this man is an artist, then why couldn't he build one out of papier-mache?' Les Schobert, a former L.A. Zoo curator who is a prominent voice in the animal rights movement, said the exhibit 'degrades the elephant. Here we have an endangered species. And we're taking it and moving it into a warehouse and painting it. It's a mockery. There's no reason. This isn't a religious ceremony in India.'
And the BBC has a piece about Banksy, claiming to authoritatively identify the pseudonymous artist:
His real name is Robert Banks, a 32-year-old from Bristol, that cultural melting-pot of a port where graffiti art has a long heritage.
He has no formal art education but learned his craft designing bootleg rock memorabilia. Before that, he'd started spraying graffiti when he was an unhappy 14-year-old schoolboy.
And a Guardian piece here, including the claim that the Paris Hilton CD was done in collaboration with LA-based mash-up artist Danger Mouse.

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