British graffiti artist Banksy is known for his street graffiti and his subversive stunts targeting the art world and celebrity pop culture. In his latest prank, Banksy doctored 500 Paris Hilton debut CDs in the British cities of Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London, replacing the liner notes with his own artwork, the CD with his own remix.
In typical fashion, he has also released a video of his activities (right). He’s well known for documenting his illicit affairs.
Now, the sticker on the front of the CD lists the featured songs as “Why Am I Famous?”, “What have I done?” and “What am I for?” The album artwork is plastered with phrases like “Race to the bottom of the pile!” and “90% of Success is Just Showing Up”.
According to The Independent, “Instead of Ms Hilton’s own compositions, the replacement CD features 40 minutes of a basic rhythm track over which Banksy has dubbed Ms Hilton’s catchphrase ‘That’s hot!’ and other extracts from her reality TV programme The Simple Life.”
In the tampered cover artwork, Hilton is portrayed topless (see after the jump) and the CD lining reveals her head has been replaced with that of her chihuahua Tinkerbell.
This is far from Banksy’s first brilliantly subversive move.
In March 2005 he snuck four of his works into New York museums – the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum – hanging them all on the same day. After he hung a work in the British Museum, the museum added it to its permanent collection. His graffiti has become instantly recognizable all over London.
In 2005, Wired reported on the Banksy phenomenon:
“By hijacking the established system of art exhibition, Banksy is drawing attention to its shortcomings. ‘Art’s the last of the great cartels,’ he contends. ‘A handful of people make it, a handful buy it, and a handful show it. But the millions of people who go look at it don’t have a say.’ Most of Banksy’s work isn’t found inside any building at all. ‘I don’t do proper gallery shows,” he says. ‘I have a much more direct communication with the public.'”
The CD artwork:
Although the album sold just 75,000 copies in its first week out, prompting some to declare it a “certified flop,” Paris Hilton may yet find a new audience.