Friday, March 4, 2011

OCEANSIDE: Rat Mural is not a Banksy

UPDATE: Rat mural removed in Oceanside

A mural of a rat flying a kite that appeared overnight on the side of a taco shop in Oceanside is not the work of internationally know graffiti artist Banksy, according to a public relations firm representing the artist.

The mural appeared seemingly out of nowhere Friday morning on a large, blank wall on the side of a building housing the Bull Taco shop on South Coast Highway.

Nancy Willen of Acme PR in Los Angeles said in an e-mail to the North County Times Wednesday evening that the mural was not by Banksy.

The owners of the restaurant could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant said it did not matter to her that the mural was not by the anonymous British street artist.

"We liked it even before we knew," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

She said the owners had no intention to remove the mural.

The artist directed and was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary film "Exit Through the Gift Shop", about the underground street art scene. It lost the Oscar to the documentary, "Inside Job."

The mural created a buzz in the seaside community when word spread that the creator could be Banksy.

Entertainment news website TMZ was first to report that the image looked like Banksy's signature rodent and that the artist had been busy earlier in the month painting huge mice on a Hollywood billboard.

Bull Taco co-owner Justin Lewis told the North County Times on Friday that he had received phone calls from as far away as London, from people wanting to know if the mural was authentic. He said he had never heard of the graffiti artist before all the hoopla.

UPDATE: Rat mural removed in Oceanside

Taken from: NC Times

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