An Open Letter to Banksy from an LA Native
A piece from Banksy's last trip to Los Angeles.
Hey dude, I heard you were gonna Art all over LA again. That’s cool, man. Or, hey, maybe you’re not even planning on coming back here, and all this #buzz is just a hoax perpetrated by a phalanx of tech-snobs from Beverly Hills whose closest programmed feeling adjacent to joy comes from harnessing #socialmedia. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter if you’re coming here or not. The LA Times and LA Weekly have already written hopeful articles about your supposed return, and, as a boy who is paid to comment on happenings, that’s enough to warrant this “barfticle.” Plus, it gives me a chance to not-so-subtly cash in on the current trend of nobodies writing open letters to newsmakers. Personally, I find the present bonanza of open letters to be, at best, a lazy sausage of cultural criticism wrapped up in a pancake of link-bait, (a click-in-a-blanket, if you will.) But, hey man, them’s the breaks.
The thing is, after your most recent wildly profitable and critically successful stop in my hometown in 2011, you can kinda get away with whatever the hell you want. That’s great for you and all, but the recent criticism coupled with heat from Jonathan Law surrounding your New York residency might have you re-thinking some shit. I believe everyone needs to take a step back and shake things up. If we’ve learned anything from Michael Jackson, Madonna, and That Dude Who Used To Be Hootie, it’s that great artists need to reinvent themselves every so often to maintain relevance in this tweet-a-day world.
You’ve already got some hack aping your style with shitty garbage puns and a collective of losers literally doing exactly what you did and making way more money. But don’t fret, masked man! I have just the recipe for rebirth if you are indeed coming back to LA You must embrace the city.
Fake Banksy sold 40 pieces of art to people who knew they were fakes in under an hour. Banksy only sold three.
A big hunk of neg vibes hurtling your way regarding your Big Apple brew-ha-ha, specifically the piece that just went up in the Bronx, is about how you’re reinforcing negative stereotypes about areas in which you are merely a visitor. Plus, let’s be honest, that fucking 9/11 concrete flower life-finds-a-way bullshit looks like it belongs on a personalized checkbook sold at an aggressively hip kiosk at the mall. I’m from LA. I can show you some places that’ll put your knickers in a twist or whatever the hell British people do the three times a year the Queen allows them to demonstrate excitement. With that in mind, here’s a list of places in Los Angeles that you should Art on.
Fuck. The. Grove. Back in the pre-9/11 heyday of televised magic shows and Sam Goody, CityWalk was king. Nothing meant more to my chubby prepubescent being after a long, hot day of plugging my goddamned ears and shutting my eyes as hard as they could during a poorly-simulated shark attack, than cooling off by running through that majestically leaping fountain. By the way, as a horny young lad, that fountain was the stuff of dreams. I saw my first ever outline of a nip in that fountain. God bless you, CityWalk.
City Walk's fountain, majestic as fuck.
I know that one of my colleagues recently soured VICE’s relationship with the lumbering talking picture house slash our country’s premier destination for tolerating a firsthand experience of that movie, Waterworld" but this isn’t about us, it’s about you, Banksy. CityWalk is the perfect locale for a man with a penchant for anonymity. In fact, with its level of visible pollution, an original piece could go unnoticed for months. Any blank wall, if you can find one, would be a worthwhile canvas. If I may, I suggest you do something to the store that for some reason still only sells Raiders shit, even though they’ve been out of L.A. as long as Citywalk’s been in it.
HOLLYWOOD AND HIGHLAND
I don’t mean the mall. I’m talking about the actual intersection. Yes, I want you to design a superhero to interact with the myriad of tourists who’ve conned themselves into thinking L.A. is a travel destination. I’ll leave the specifics of the character up to y’all, but I only request that whoever occupies the costume go about interacting with the flock of sightseers exactly how the rest of the dirty Spider-men do—no winking.
JANE’S ADDICTION’S STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Yeah, I just read that Jane’s Addiction is getting a star on the Walk of Fame. My friend Geoff pointed out that the star, in and of itself, sounds like a really sick prank art installation. He’s right. There’s probably no fake star or alteration to an existing one that you could make to top the absurdity of Jane’s Addiction being memorialized by the same city, in the same exact way, as Ann-Margret. I suggest you just apply some sort of glue or something that makes the star impossible to remove.
THAT TACO TRUCK AT AVE. 52 AND FIG (OUTSIDE THE 7-11)
That taco truck has my favorite al pastor burrito in the city. The guys who run it seem nice, and I just think they deserve some more business. An original Banksy would do little to add to Highland Park’s swift gentrification, and it would probably help bring in some deserved cash to those dudes. Their burritos are so fucking good.
KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
See above, but multiply by like a million. Fucking everybody involved in Knott’s Berry Farm should be embarrassed. It’s got a stupid name, and the best ride it can offer is named after diarrhea. They need this.
I don’t think you’ve ever tattooed anybody, and if any one person embodies LA, it’s Vin. The Dodgers are finally fun and exciting again, but their games would become appointment television for the entire city if America’s greatest living sportscaster got a face tattoo at 85. C’mon, he’s only gonna be around for a few more years, and after he passes on, his family can sell his museum-worthy skin to some toe-sandal wearing venture capitalist for like a hundred million bones.
So, there you go, Banksy. A few ideas, free of charge. I just ask that if you use any of them, you credit me. By telling everyone that I’m you.
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