Tai, a 38 year old Indian elephant gets painted for Banksy's exhibition in Los Angeles
(Photo by Marissa Roth for The New York Times)
Banksy, the mischievous, witty and at times sophomoric intervention artist, has picked a thirty-eight year old Indian elephant named Tai to intervene upon. At his current and very brief Los Angeles exhibition, it opened on Thursday and closes on Sunday, Banksy has created a literal depiction of the metaphor – “There is an elephant in the room and nobody talks about it.” It seems that moving from public spaces to private elephants has created a justified uproar in Los Angeles: "I think it sends a very wrong message that abusing animals is not only OK, it's an art form," said Ed Boks, general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services, to the Los Angeles Times. "We find it no longer acceptable to dye baby chicks at Easter, but it's OK to dye an elephant?"
It seems only fitting that the anonymous Banksy out his identity in a tit for tat body painting session with Vitaly Komar & Alex Melamid and the painting elephants of Northern Thailand and Bali - Banksy as blank canvas for the painting elephants.
Komar & Melamid's Elephant Project. Could Banksy be next?
Elephants That Paint
New York Times on Banksy
Los Angeles Times on Banksy and Tai
Tai at Banksy's Show
(Béatrice de Géa / LAT)
An earlier artistic intervention by Banksy in Los Angeles proved to be much more succesful in intent and final outcome: