Banksy or Fakesy in Oceanside?

Banksy has struck again…? Hipsters and press gathered around the large black wall of Bull Taco in Oceanside to marvel at a large painted rat and kite supposedly created by the secretive street artist Banksy.

Cameras flashed and the press scrambled for interviews similar to scenes around recent Banksy pieces in the street of Los Angeles, but the buzz in Oceanside seemed less about the social commentary or the easiest, and quickest, way to extract the art and get it up on Ebay and more about whether it truly was a Banksy… or a Fakesy.

Why it’s a FAKESY…

1. It lacks skill. Banksy has recently focused more on giving his pieces dimension where a stencil is used for the predominant black shadows of the piece. These blacks are usually sprayed over free hand shades of white and grays. This Oceanside design is flat and lacks the depth a skilled stencil artist like Banksy would use.

2. Inversed color flaw. The colors of the rat are inversed from the original design visible on “Exit Through the Gift Shop” promotional material. The inverse creates a design which seems flawed. Shadows become highlights and highlights become shadows. Have you ever seen a white shadow? Would Banksy really incorrectly alter his design to compensate for the color of the black background wall or would he choose a better design for his first piece in SD?

3. Visible Bridges. Take a good look at the image on the kite in the Oceanside piece and compare it to the images of the same design done in Los Angeles, the latter being authenticated by the Banksy. The obvious difference is the stencil bridges, or gaps, in the Oceanside piece at the wrist of the child and in the leg of the adult male figure. A flawless stencil hides “bridges” as seen in the authenticated piece in LA.

4. The Kite. The characters in the Oceanside kite are rounded and obviously different. Would Banksy use a different design as the ones in LA. Remember, Banksy is a professional and very detail oriented! The kite trail in the Oside piece also has bridges in the tail, as well as a off centered orange under layer visible by flawed registration in the string.

Why it’s a Banksy…

1. Recent work in LA. Banky has been busy in the streets of Los Angeles for the past weeks promoting his highly publicized Oscar nomination for his documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” He has hit LA hard and may be looking for a new canvas. Oceanside may have been a quick stop in route for SD?

2. High volume of traffic. The uncharacteristic sloppy and unskilled design might be due to the high volume of traffic on the busy highway 101. Banksy may have chosen the simple one color design much like his earlier work to cut the chance of being caught on video or arrested.

As of now, the authentication of the piece remains a mystery. Banksy enthusiasts and hipsters from far and near have been flocking to the site all day. Was this mural painted in connection with the Oceanside restaurant as a sad and unethical way to increase business or was it a true gift from Banksy to the community of Oceanside. Until Banksy releases it on his website, the truth will remain a highly guarded secret much like Banksy himself.

Do you think it is a Banksy or Fakesy? If fake, who do you think did it?

29 Responses to “Banksy or Fakesy in Oceanside?”

  1. 1 Alyx Feb 25th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Fakesy, for all of the reasons you listed. And so we wait for Pest Control to assess the scene…

  2. 2 Mario Feb 25th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    fake! You? jk.

  3. 3 mr b Feb 25th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    obviously a publicity stunt by the tenants of the building for reasons 1-4 and i would imagine if that’s the rat he’s spraying it would be this stencil:

    truly an amateurish stunt as you point out.

  4. 4 Mr T Feb 26th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I’m no expert on Banksy however, I think it’s a fake the skill used needs more practice. Banksy early stuff has a technique, a flow that the bull taco graffiti lacks. I’m going to be surprised if he did it.

  5. 5 Banksy Feb 26th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    It’s real.
    Your pal,

  6. 6 Mike Bertrand Feb 26th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I believe there will be several street artist’s doing ‘imitation’ Banksy with all the attention his possible oscar appearance is generating. Look at the draw this one generated all the way down here from LA! Imagine when the next one show’s up in LA!

    …and it’s not as good as a real Banksy. Flawed and lacking details associated with his talents.
    It was a great idea, a good effort…but not the real deal…IMHO…

  7. 7 Culture Lust Feb 26th, 2011 at 4:41 pm


    Thanks for the analysis – it’s really helpful. I may want to follow-up with you for a future angle on the story.

    ~Angela Carone, KPBS

  8. 8 jim Feb 27th, 2011 at 11:20 am






  9. 9 Go Away Feb 27th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Is it…… Could it be…… Its clearly too sloppy. If someone spent a few hours simply googling Banksy images and learned to appreciate his talent they would see its not his. The only story here is the shop owners attempt at free publicity.

  10. 10 Jim's Mom Feb 27th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Jim is gay, and that is a fake Banksy.

    That is all.

  11. 11 Jesse Feb 27th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    FAKE- i live next to the taco shop. the only thing worse than the pranksy banksy is the food at bull taco.

  12. 12 The Artist Feb 27th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I have had the food at Bull Taco and thought is was tasty…

    Please keep the comments about the art!


  13. 13 E.Y. Feb 27th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    It’s a fake… there’s no hooked humor to the design, no sarcastic “ouch” moment… A King Rat flying a Banksy border design kite flying a kite seems… I dunno, kinda too dumb to be Banksy… too obvious… that and whoever did it has not been doing street art for very long and had a lot of time to be specific… 101 is really busy and there are a TON of cops ALWAYS, even though this piece is unskilled it took time to make… that border sign has 10 separate stencil sections… uhhhhh, that’s like 10 freaking minutes… that’s way too long for one section on the side of Bull Taco off the 101 freeway in O’Side… I would also like to argue that someone paid for this piece to be put here, which is lame and (even though kinda funny) probably illegal… but mostly lame…

  14. 14 Chris Feb 27th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    complete fake..

  15. 15 Oce Feb 27th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Banksy’s back! Last year he defaced Oceanside Harbour.

  16. 16 Patrick Feb 28th, 2011 at 9:22 am

    My reason for believing it’s fake isn’t the sloppy execution. It’s that the piece takes a Banksy motif – the kite runners sign – and combines it with another one – the star glassed rat. To me it’s the dual joke/commentary that contradicts the smart, singular point of other Banksy pieces. I wish it was the real deal, but I think it’s a fake.

  17. 17 WM Feb 28th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Been thinking about this all weekend- as soon as I heard about this peice, I immediately went to check it out. At first I thought it could be real… why would anyone steal his signature images and claim them as their own… but upon further examination, I agree it lacks the precision Banksy is known for. There are drips and streaks where there shouldn’t be, and beyond that- the guy is missing a leg. Are you kidding me? Is Banksy trying to make a statement about amputee immigrants? doubtful.
    Also, it hasn’t been mentioned on his website–which usually happens within a day or so, and would be the ultimate proof.
    Think the taco shop guys were hurting for business and came up with a brilliant marketing campaign. I would love to be wrong on this, but I don’t think I am.

  18. 18 tyler Feb 28th, 2011 at 10:20 am

    to sloppy. rent a uhaul park in front and paint away easy for banksy.

  19. 19 jon Feb 28th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    it sounds to me like carlsbad is hating on oceanside cause they didnt get a banksy piece!? sorry grubbys but bulltaco is 100% better!

  20. 20 Santoshimoto Feb 28th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Clearly this is the work of Mister Brainwash…

    Seriously though, I’m no artist, and while I appreciate the differences you are pointing out between this piece and verified Banksy art, it’s a creative theme, and looks, well, hard to pull off.

    So then, if not Banksy, then who? The art community here isn’t huge, so if the restaurant owner hired someone from the community, other artists would likely know who would the most likely culprit would be (who did that fun shark piece in Cardiff?)

    At the end of the day, I think it looks really cool no matter who did it, and hell–I think all of us like the drama as well!


  21. 21 JM Feb 28th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    If they DID fake a Banksy, then I think it’s funny and smart. Banksy made a name for himself by illegally defacing property…in a good way. Why not turn the tables and use it yourself? Some of you are too uptight about it. I’m an artist myself, so don’t try to take that angle.

    I thought I would mention that the food at Bull Taco is pretty darn good, though a bit expensive. It’s good to encourage decent businesses in town…there are plenty of bad ones to call out. Bull Taco isn’t one of them.

  22. 22 twigpuddle Feb 28th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    FAKE! No way. Bull Taco is too “Indy” for an “Indy” artist to display his images there. Bull Taco knew full well that the painting would attract more of the clientele it already seeks. Plus, the work is sloppy, and it is on too blank of of a canvas. Looks like stencil work, and I know one stencil artist who is within biking distance of Bull Taco. :0)

  23. 23 Justin Feb 28th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I say no matter what it’s great publicity! So props to the Justin and his people at Bull Taco. These days you gotta think outside the box. As far as their Tacos being better than Senor Grubby’s of Carlsbad, I would say that is a matter of opinion. I respect anyone that has the ambition and drive to follow their dreams and push them into existence. Their doing a good thing in South “O” and North County needs more ambitious new ideas. Support your local businesses, restaurants and markets. Then your supporting not only local economy but local families and dreams.

    Justin Jachura
    Senor Grubby’s

    And thanks to the Carlsbad Crawl for covering local news of all matters.

  24. 24 Mimi Feb 28th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    What about simply just having good food, consistent and keeping a clean, friendly establishment. Bull taco is lacking all four, that is why they got desperate. As for señor grubby’s…..keep up the good work:) then they won’t have to think outside the box.

  25. 25 TruDAT DA RAT Feb 28th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Seriously, You fools are so lame and Karma is gonna get you! Banksy did not do that pieced together, already been out there, rat work on your wall. In fact he had already done the people crossing in Hollywood back awhile ago. Who else makes shirts, uploads photos’ to there website to capitalize on a FAKE!!! Your operation is going to go down with all the lies, your food already sucks so after you make some money off some shitty graphic tee’s you will have nothing! Word is going to spread really fast about your reputation around town and it’s so pathetic you would even go there! Good for you that loser street kids that hang in your alley want to believe something actually good is coming out of that shit hole you call a business, but it’s all a LIE.
    PS: LOS TACOS &GRUBBYS are FRESH and TASTY!! they don’t deep fry old meat to serve the next day cause there ain’t no steady business.

  26. 26 JM Mar 1st, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, sounds like people are making a taco shop really personal. In the grand scheme of life I’m not sure how high up the importance of any one taco shop is going rank. As for Banksy…do you really think the art he actually does himself is all that original in the first place? He spray paints shit on walls. He’s clever. Lots of people are clever. How many different copies and versions and parodies of the Mona Lisa have been done over the last few hundred years? This isn’t life and death folks. I still say if it’s a fake then it’s even funnier and good job. And as a side note, I’ve never gotten a bad meal at Bull Taco. Like the actual guy from Senor Grubby’s said above, support your local economy.

  27. 27 Culture Lust Mar 2nd, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Oceanside mural is officially NOT a Banksy

  28. 28 Ben Dec 1st, 2011 at 1:19 am

    The fact that this was done in OCEANSIDE out of all places should have been the number one reason of why its a fake. Banksy chooses predominant walls that have meaning, a lot of time are well known, as well as being in well known cities. This was done on some random taco shop, in a the suburbs of San Diego not even the city itself. Just look at the flag, it is completely amateur. I used to make stencils that looked like that when I was 10, and thats exactly how they turned out. FAKE

  29. 29 MarzBarz May 22nd, 2012 at 10:56 am

    i remember i went to bull taco (good food btw) and i saw the piece. i asked the workers there and they all think it’s fake. they kept it up though and i saw a lot people stand next to it taking pics and whatnot. i believe it is fake but then again, banksy works in mysterious ways. they ended up painting over it a few weeks later.

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