Will notorious graffiti artist 'Banksy' attend the Oscars?

February 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A notorious graffiti artist whose illegal activity has been documented all over the world is up for an Oscar for Best Documentary.

To some, graffiti can be a work of art. And the fine line between vandalism and genius is the premise of the documentary "Exit through the Gift Shop."

The British street artist known only as "Banksy" is causing quite a stir in a category not normally known for controversy. Like most street artists, Banksy's identity is secret. So the question is whether the mystery man will actually attend Sunday's Academy Awards.

"If he got an Oscar and went up to pick it up, I would lose total respect for him," said Ngene Mwaura, a Los Angeles-based artist

He says a lot of artists are worried that Banksy's mystique will be co-opted by Hollywood.

"There's that element," said Mwaura. "Just don't lose that, man. Come on."

No one knows for sure if Banksy is in town, but images that are painted in his style have been popping up around Los Angeles for weeks.

Perhaps one of the greatest testaments to Banksy's fame is the fact that his tags don't last very long. They're often stolen or removed.

No one really seems to know if Banksy will attend the Academy Awards, but there's one thing that even his critics acknowledge - if his goal was to operate in secrecy, that won't be easy when an Oscar is involved.

This year's Oscar ceremony is set to air live on ABC7 from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. Check out a full list of Oscar nominations.

ABC7 and OnTheRedCarpet.com are your news sources for Oscars coverage. Live coverage from the Oscar red carpet begins at 2 p.m. PT. "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the free On The Red Carpet iPad app, available now in iTunes.

When the last awards have been given out, watch continuing coverage of the Governor's Ball and all the Oscar night parties as "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the iPad app.

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