Banksy has been in residency
in New York for the last few weeks, which has irked billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. At a press conference last week, Bloomberg said
that defacing property "is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted."
Yes and no.
Garcetti is a fan of Banksy's work, but rules are rules. The city recently loosened restrictions
on street murals, but painting graffiti in the dead of night still counts as vandalism.
"Mayor Garcetti appreciates Banksy as an artist," said Vicki Curry, Garcetti's spokeswoman. "But the City of L.A. will enforce the law. Under our new mural ordinance, a mural can be painted on private property if the artist or property owner secures a permit through the Department of Cultural Affairs."
Garcetti may take a different tone than Bloomberg, but in substance the policy is the same.
That's probably fine with Banksy. Getting official approval from the mayor's office would totally kill his cred.
"I'm not so interested in convincing people in the art world that what I do is 'art,' " Banksy told the Weekly in 2010
. "I'm more bothered about convincing people in the graffiti community that what I do is really vandalism."