He's not so underground anymore, but he's still underground enough where you and only one other person at a dinner table might know who he is. And that makes you feel cool.
I am, of course, talking about the great Banksy. An artist I first learned of back in L.A. by a DJ I was dating from London who shared my love of graffiti art. Bansky is a mysterious British street artist who has turned his mischievous street graffiti into a multi-million dollar art career (Brad Pitt is a huge fan). No one knows who Bansky actually is. As Wikipedia puts it best in the oxymoron description of him, he is "a well-known pseudo-anonymous British graffiti artist."
His work, which by some is considered vandalism, can be meaningful or meaningless, political or politically incorrect and it aways undoubtedly sparks curiousity and wonder.
Banksy currently has an exhibit in town called the Pet Shop, which has the weirdest mechanical animals and things in the world - chicken nuggets eating their sauce in a chicken pen, monkeys watching money porn and random other mysterious creatures. The people who work there swore to me they've never met Banksy and say the place was already set up when they were hired.
Once rumors swirled that Banksy was in town, mysterious Banksy work suddenly started to appear all around NYC. And I became curious to find them.
I am 99.9% positive there is a Banksy (there have been known to be fakes) over an advertisement on Houston street of a huge rat holding a paint brush as if he is painting his own picture down my where I play soccer. I forget my camera every time I'm over there, but I will take a picture.
Then the other day as I walking down in SoHo, I suddenly realized that this painting might too be a Banksy. It looks just like one, has some sort of weird meaning that I don't quite get right away and is purposefully placed (I assume) behind barbed wire. Which begs the question, is this or is this not a Banksy??? (picture at top of blog post)
Not sure if these are truly Banksy quotes, but if they are, I'm obsessed:
"People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish... but that's only if it's done properly."—Banksy
"Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it."—Banksy