Banksy in Oceanside?

Shelby Rowe, Editor in Chief

On February 24, a rat with star-shaped sunglasses, holding a kite embedded with a traffic sign of pedestrian crossing was painted on one of the walls of Oceanside’s Bull Taco. Controversy of whether this masterpiece is a creation of Banksy, the legendary British graffiti artist and Academy Award nominated documentarian for his film “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” has flooded the art community of San Diego.

Although Banksy is on a Southern California tour and his work had been seen earlier that month on a billboard in LA, nobody knows if the mural on the Bull Taco wall is actually a Banksy original. Critics have stated that this simple painting lacks Banksy’s skill and message. Also, Banksy posts all of his artwork on his website to avoid fakes and a picture of this particular mural has not been uploaded.

“I thought it was real when I saw it on the internet, but when I actually saw it I knew it wasn’t real,” Senior Kevin Tyrrell said. “The stencils aren’t connected properly and also it’s not on his official website.”

However, the mural does have some Banksy qualities, like the shading and stencils, and it is easy to call it his artwork because other murals of his were recently spotted in Los Angeles. However, this particular painting looks sloppy in comparison to Banksy’s other pieces featured on his website, www.banksy.co.uk

The owner of Bull Taco had thoughts about painting over the mural until he realized how much revenue it brought to his shop and how valuable it really is if it is a true Banksy piece.

“If it comes out that its actually fake, then I think the owner of Bull Taco should erase it,” Tyrrell said. “I’s not cool that the owner made shirts and is selling them for twenty dollars.”

It has been over a week and the mural hasn’t been shown on Banksy’s website; however, Banksy has been in Southern California and there is a slight chance that the mural may be real. But as the days go by without any actual recognition that the mural on Bull Taco is real, it becomes harder to believe that the legendary Banksy actually visited Oceanside.