Banksy has been nominated for an Academy Award for his directorial debut – but will he turn up for the glitzy ceremony next month?
The elusive graffiti artist is up for best documentary for Exit Through The Gift Shop, alongside producer Jaimie D’Cruz. He also appears in the film, only in shadow with a hoodie over his head and with his voice altered to make him unrecognisable.
“This is a big surprise,” he said in a statement. “I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me.”
Still, the question remains: Will the Brit show up for the February 27 ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood? And if he wins, will he actually take the stage, say a few words and let the world see his face?
“I highly doubt it,” said John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, where Exit Through The Gift Shop premiered a year ago. “Would this be THAT moment? I still doubt it. I’ve still never even met the person.”
An international figure in graffiti art, Banksy is known for travelling the world and anonymously leaving his signature pieces in public areas while refusing to reveal his real name.
His film follows the evolution of the Los Angeles street art scene as it builds to a crescendo of bandwagon worship for the latest hot, new thing, an artist Banksy himself “discovers” who goes by the name Mr Brainwash. The film is up against Gasland, Inside Job, Restrepo and Waste Land at the Oscars.