As I am sure many of you have heard (and if you have not, then I am jealous that you have been hiding under a rock, curled up and well-rested), last week Mr. Banksy managed to pull a new one on us.

Sotheby’s employees pose with ‘Love is in the Bin’ (later renamed by Sotheby’s) by British artist Banksy during a media preview at Sotheby’s auction house on October 12, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Shortly after the hammer came down on the item for the final bidding of $1.2 millions dollars, the canvas of “Girl With Balloon” by famous anonymous artist, Banksy, began to pass through a shredder installed in the frame. The alarms went off, the staff took away the painting in panic and now a week later, the painting’s value raises another million dollars and the woman who bid on the painting decided to keep it, half shredded and all.

Since his Tate Gallery stunt of 2003, this guy (or girl, because everything is possible nowadays), has been in the headlines for years after. Never before had something like that been attempted in reputable museums. In 2013 he came back with his Better Out Than In exhibit, where he made all of New York his museum institution that housed his artworks. Then in 2015, he produced the unhappiest place on earth, Dismaland, where he gathered a group of fellow street artists and created a (literal) theme park filled with themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement. Lastly in 2017 with his Walled off Hotel experience in Bethlehem, West Bank where he constructed a hotel with the “worst view in the world” across an alley from the 26-foot wall that separates Israelis from Palestinians.

Many criticisms of his work revolve around its being inherently negative, critical, derivative, only interesting to dumb people (looking at you, Shailee Koranne from HuffPost), annoying, and commenting on all too obvious social and political events. It is abundantly clear that some people just do not want to see that sort of art form and therefore do not find it interesting. Many people who I have asked if they are a fan either give me a shrug or have no idea who I am talking about. 

As for me, Banksy is and always will be one of the most important artists in the history of art.

Banksy wore a disguise to sneak a painting into Tate Britain in 2003. He managed to hang and display at least 20 of his art works around the museum and took the staff a couple of hours to realize what had happened.

“The Sirens of the Lambs” truck that traveled around New York during his Better Out Than In “exhibition” in 2013 where he unveiled at least one work of art daily, documenting it on both a dedicated website and an Instagram account.

A view of the rundown castle from the anti happiest place on earth – Dismaland theme park in 2015.

The reason I believe he is important is not only through the messages he/she/they portrays (now I am assuming it is a collective group of people), but the way that those messages are portrayed. Banksy’s art has long been rife with political overtones, as he once told his friend, the author Tristan Manco, that he likes “the political edge” of his work. “All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history,” he said. “They’ve been used to start revolutions and to stop wars.”

Indeed, Banksy seems to be mounting his own revolution against the social politics of the world. But even though politics and activism are frequently referenced by artists (both little-known and famous), the immediacy and accessibility of Banksy’s politically-inspired work makes it especially potent. “All art is political in some way, but Banksy always has that quick response,” Rachel Campbell Johnston, the London Times art critic, told The Daily Beast. “It’s prominent because it’s in the moment and visible to the public. He uses art as a weapon. I think many artists use politics in order to get into galleries, whereas Banksy does the opposite.”

While some art critics think Banksy’s art is too obvious, others think his on-the-nose political one-liners are genius. It is very sharp, almost like a political cartoonist joke that you find in newspaper columns with a punchline.

Another thing that makes Banksy one of the most important figures in art history is that even though his artwork fetches hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction without his consent, Banksy gives it away for free. He/she/they isn’t/aren’t represented by galleries (that we know of), and as a result, he’s/she’s/they’re entirely in control of his/her/their own narrative.

At the moment, the value of his artwork is skyrocketing by the second. Already his famous shredding has been adapted into pop culture by McDonalds, Perrier, and even IKEA.

I personally cannot wait for the next time we get Banksy’d… AGAIN.


LAAFA is an accredited private college offering 3-Year BFA Degree and Certificate Programs, as well as 1-year to 18-month Intensive Art Training Tracks. We invite prospective students to come and see our intimate artistic environment and audit a full-time class.  Students can have a glimpse of the personal attention they will receive by instructors and staff during a visit. For our out-of-town prospective students, we encourage a SKYPE meeting.  These are some of the great ways to ask questions and find out more information about the LAAFA experience.


At LAAFA, you will learn from world-class faculty who work for top animation, film tv studios and gaming companies, as well as exhibit in major galleries around the world.  Our faculty will give you the practical training experience needed to be successful in your chosen career path.

Fall applications are currently being accepted for FALL 2016!  <<APPLY NOW >>

Artwork by:  Rohini Sen, Katie Lindsay, Christine Vanderkaap and Gabriel Shiguemoto.



Are you looking for a program that helps your budding artist improve their art?


LAAFA Young Masters Workshops gives teens, 12 and up, the opportunity to grow as artists by strengthening their foundational skill-set for drawing and painting. In these workshops, we will challenge the
students, create good habits, and achieve individual goals.

The day will be filled with classroom projects, visiting artists’ demos/lectures and art history lessons. All levels are encourage to enroll.

1-Week Intensive Drawing Workshop
July 15th – 19th | Register Here
July 29th – August 2nd | Register Here

1-Week Intensive Painting Workshop
July 22nd – 26th | Register Here
August 5th – 9th | Register Here

10-Week Portfolios and Beyond Class
Starting July 13th | 16 year + | Register Here

Please click on the links above for additional information about each of the workshops and class.

The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art (LAAFA) is accepting applications for our Fall full-time degree and atelier programs.  LAAFA is considered a premier choice for students wanting an intensive art program that provides the necessary foundation skills allowing our students to apply these fundamentals to a career in the fine art or entertainment art industry.

Key components of our admissions process:

1.     Apply to the full-time program.

2.    Follow all the Admission Requirements.
2A.  International Students.

3.   Portfolio pieces including the required drawing need to be sent in JPEG format (each image approximately 1280 x 800).
A.  Create a zip folder with your first initial and full last name.
B.  Email to the Admissions Department.

4.  Tuition payments and Financial Aid options.

5.  Once we have received a students’ completed application, it will take approximately 10 to 14-days for a reply.

6.  If accepted into our program, students are eligible to apply for our scholarship program.

LAAFA operates on a rolling admissions basis. Prospective students are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis for the next available starting quarter.  LAAFA only accepts a small number of students to the program each year.   We hope you will consider LAAFA as the start of your artistic journey.  To make an appointment to tour the campus, please contact our Director of Admissions.

The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art (LAAFA) recently celebrated a milestone of 10 years in art education. The party was held at the famed Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA.  And yes, the band playing in the video is Sean Cheetham’s band, Del Toro.

We have a spectacular line-up of instructors and individual classes this Spring Quarter for our extension students. Take a look at the choices of classes in our Van Nuys location. For students wanting to apply to our 3-Year Program, this is the best time to start your application process. LAAFA is considered a premier choice for students wanting an intensive art program that provides the necessary foundation skills which allow our students to excel and apply these fundamentals to a career in the fine or entertainment art industry.


 How to Register

If you would like to register for your classes online, please follow these simple steps:

1.  You may either download our (PDF) scheduleof classes.  You may select your class from the  PDF.  Just hover over the class title and click.  Your next option is to go directly to our online reservation system where you can choose your class by quarter, medium or instructor.

2.  Begin registration.  If you are a new student, our system will prompt you to create an account. Once you have created your account, you will be directed to continue in your registration.  You will see your class selection.  Next, you will click your name box and complete your enrollment or you have an option to choose additional classes.

3.  Our online system will then prompt you to complete your registration. Please follow all prompts until you get to a registration complete page.

4.  If you need any assistance, please call us at (818) 708-9232 from 10am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.  You may also email us at

If you missed it in the theater, you can see LAAFA instructor Nathan Fowkes’s work as color and lighting illustrator for “Puss in Boots” on DVD.

He talks about his work on the film and has some beautiful images on his blog here.

He also mentions a special extra only available on the DVD! Check it out!

Head Drawing with Rey Bustos – January 13th
In this class, students will learn how to quickly block in the general features of the head and neck. Through analysis and lectures of the skull and muscles of the head and neck, students will gain knowledge that will better their drawing, painting, and or sculpting skills. Through moderate-length poses, no more than an hour, each student will be able to more economically draw out the features of a specific likeness or a general representation of the human head. Each student will be asked to compile reference from classical art or even personal photographs.
  • Recommended: Life Drawing
  • Tuition:  $575.00 – Enroll today – Limited Space

Nathan Fowkes 1-Day Composition: Design for Dynamic Picture-Making Workshop is tomorrow! Walk-ins welcomed. For info:

RT @MOCAlosangeles is giving away tickets to an event they are hosting with Kenny Scharf’s studio:

3-Day Crash Course in Anatomy w/ Marshall Vandruff starts March 18th! Class Comments:Inspiring, knowledge, amazing, epic.

Alex Ruiz will be teaching “Environment Concept Design”, starting Feb 2! Enroll here: – See his work: