When a new Banksy-style mural recently popped up in Los Angeles, rumors that the sketch belonged to the beloved British artist (who often works in the City of Angels) went viral. But, most things in tinseltown are rarely as they seem, and, as it turns out, this Banksy is no exception. While art enthusiasts giddily speculated whether the tongue-in-cheek piece — which depicts a solider brandishing a machine gun over the slogan "Vandals found vandalizing this vandalism will be prosecuted"— was a clever response to the previous removal of some of his public works, the furtive artist's reps confirmed that the sketch is, in fact, an imitation.
“He has used the word ‘vandalism’ before, but the piece is fake,” a spokeswoman told the New York Times via email.
An L.A. artist who calls himself Strömberg is now taking credit for the mural, posting final and in-production photos of the work on his Facebook page. Will Banksy create some brash, ballsy response to the street artist's blatant adaptation of his work? Only time will tell. But, as they say, imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery. (New York Times)