Banksy hasn't said much since not one, but three of his murals were ripped from their original outdoor locations and shipped to auction with hefty price tags.
Works in London, Tottenham and, most recently, Los Angeles have all been sent to the bidding block by audacious landlords, while another mural in Torqay, England was boarded up by a building owner to ward off vandals.
But, if we're to believe a recent mural plastered in Los Angeles, the mysterious street artist may have broken his silence.
An image posted today on the blog, Hydeordie, shows what looks like a new Banksy artwork, one that features a masked and heavily armed individual standing above the words "Vandals found vandalizing this vandalism will be prosecuted."
A few other art blogs have speculated on the authenticity of the mural, surmising that if indeed the paint job is the handiwork of Mr. Banksy, it could be a denouncement of the shady removal, censorship and erasure of his art. Banksy has in the past condemned the unauthorized exhibition of his murals -- take, for example, when the New York-based dealer Stephan Keslzer showed Banksy works at Art Basel Miami. So this wouldn't be too much of a stretch.
We're not sure if the newest, supposed Banksy mural is anything but a tongue-in-cheek response to debates about the proper handling of his work. But whether or not the spray-painting is his -- or the statement is a statement at all -- the street art image is keeping the conversation alive.
What do you think? Should Banksy's artworks remain in their natural habitat or is street art, like fine art, destined to be viewed as an object of monetary value too? Let us know your thoughts.
UPDATE: Surprise, surprise. The mural is not Banksy's, according to The New York Times.