Banksy's "Barely Legal" Hits LA

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Graffiti artist Banksy, who most recently was in the news for getting a disturbing sculpture into Disneyland, as well as his work that trashed Paris Hilton's new cd, is in town causing trouble guaranteed to make pretty much everyone who passes it smile. This week the LA Weekly spotlights the controversial artist in a Q & A about his new collection of thought-provoking art that literally hits the streets of LA.

Here's an excerpt:

While you’ve had some great press in the U.S. in the past and done a few shows here and there, this is pretty much the “Banksy has arrived” show. What can we expect? Any surprises?

This show has been quite a big undertaking for me; it represents nearly a month of getting up early in the morning. Some of the paintings have taken literally days to make. Essentially, it’s about what a horrible place the world is, how unjust and cruel and pointless life is, and ways to avoid thinking about all that. One of the best ways turned out to be sitting in a warehouse making 50 paintings about cruelty, pain and pointlessness. You get immune. I painted one picture of a Western family eating a picnic in a village of starving African children called I HATE EATING MY DINNER IN FRONT OF THE NEWS, and got so obsessed with painting each and every fly on those kids’ faces, I never once thought about a starving kid for a second.

I guess the show is about wanting to make the world a better place whilst not wanting to come across like a jerk. Imagine what would happen if we took all the money we spent on weapons and gave it to the poor. Then I’d have to grow my own cocaine; my manicurist would kill me.

Keep your eyes peeled around LA, one of the most exciting things about this artist is you never know where his work will pop up next.

photo by pantavila via flickr