Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Banksy Does Vegas

One of my favorite Vegas-centric blogs, VegasChatter (who always bring a bit of snark and attitude to their clever little posts) are reporting that work by the street artist extraordinaire will end up in a Vegas club soon.

Did some clever marketer find a way to convince the anti-corporate prankster to sell out and make something for an expensive mega-club? Not exactly...

Banksy's been busy doing his thing all over Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, where his completely excellent and hilarious doc, Exit Through the Gift Shop (Netflix it now! I command you!), earned a surprise nomination. He's been tagging walls and billboards all over LA in what has amounted to an irreverent salute to Hollywood. One of his pieces involved a drunk and horny version of a very famous corporate mascot partying it up on a billboard for The Light Group.

Shockingly, the House of Mouse was not pleased and asked that the Billboard be removed, which Light Group reps agreed to do... but now they've got the Banksy modified ad in their possession and plan to install it one of their Vegas properties.

While it Banksy art in a slick Vegas club seems to be a contradiction of the artist's philosophy, I'm willing to bet that the famously secretive prankster will thoroughly enjoy the irony of his subversive piece hanging on the wall of a place where customers pay hundreds of dollars for a $30 bottle of booze just so they can sit down. He's probably laughing at the whole thing under his hoodie and gorilla mask.

It also provides a grand opportunity for Banksy to respond with a barrage of street art attacks on Vegas if he so wishes... hopefully soon we'll see the Strip covered in clever anti-military industrial complex art spray painted onto the side of a mega-resort or two.

However it all shakes out, I just love everything about this story in the way it completely encapsulates all of the weird contradictions and tensions that make me completely fascinated with (and sometimes repulsed by) that strange glittering city in the dessert.

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