Skip to Content
Art

Walmart Steals Eddie Colla Image, Calls it Banksy

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.12.41 AM

California artist Eddie Colla, who has been up in the streets of L.A. for a decade, recently had one of his images "appropriated" by WalMart and sold as a "Banksy" to unsuspecting customers of the world-destroying mega-chain. To retaliate, the artist has created a print celebrating the cognitive dissonance created by Wal Mart's use of his image. He explains more in this interview with 1XRUN. Full details on the print to follow...

1xRun: It’s been a few years since you create this image and slogan – did you ever think it would be hijacked by Walmart and labeled a BANKSY?

Eddie Colla: That’s the irony, isn’t it? I made a piece about individuals controlling their own fate and not making their success contingent on the approval of others. It then gets adopted by a neo-feudal corporation like Walmart. A corporation whose employment practices have created a 2 million person underclass in this country. That’s where this becomes an issue of conviction. Walmart waves American Flags, kowtows to a hypocritical right wing Christian ideology but that’s merely a marketing strategy. If Walmart actually believed in any part of that ridiculous rhetoric they would certainly never put work by an artist like me in their stores.

First off, I’m a vandal, (although I prefer the term “graphic criminal”) and the piece they are selling encourages that kind of behavior wholeheartedly. Politically, I am anti-military, anti-gun, pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage, pro immigration reform. I could go on. So why would they sell work by someone who stands in opposition to their most strongly held values? The answer is simple, it’s all bullshit, a facade to appeal to a gullible consumer base. My favorite example of their hypocrisy is a Sheryl Crow CD that Walmart banned in their stores. The CD was banned not because of explicit language because of lyrics that made reference to Walmart’s sale of guns. The CDs were taken off shelves, the guns stayed. In the eyes of Walmart, the criticism was dangerous not the assault rifles they sell. In a corporate landscape void of ethics, values and steered by greed Walmart is right up there with the biggest douche bags in the game. Pick any problem our country faces. At some point it will intersect with Walmart. Whether it’s gun violence, a widening economic gap, environmental issues, outsourcing manufacturing, lack of health care access etc. Walmart is right there on the wrong side of history. As far as the Banksy thing, that’s just ignorance. It’s common when a group of people try to cash in on something they know little or nothing about. All they see is an opportunity to exploit something and make some money. They see a stencil and call it a Banksy. I’ve seen Dolk, Blek le Rat, Above and a bunch of other artists pieces labeled as Banksy’s.

eddie_colla_walmart_1xrun_email

The print is available for a limited time from 1XRUN.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

What To Eat In L.A. This Weekend: L.A.’s Best Tacos, Tequila, and Stuffed Churros at Our 15th TACO MADNESS

McSatan cheeseburgers, suadero on house-nixtamalized tortillas from one of Mexico's biggest chefs, steak banh mi tacos, and so much more, in one place!

June 14, 2024

The Five Best Tacos in South Gate

From a spot that uses a unique Michoacán-style "salsa agridulce" to a fish taquería where the batter stays crispy, next time you're in SELA, now you know! Southeast Los Angeles, presente!

June 13, 2024

Black Music Month: Five California-Based Baddies Taking Over The Music Industry

From Sacramento to Slauson Hills and Pasadena, these emerging California-raised artists are representing the state's current hip-hop and R&B scenes.

Open Thread: What Is L.A.’s Most Overrated Dish?

Dry donuts you drove an hour for? "Texas-style" tacos you just don't seem to get? That mean Michelin-recognized chef's new place?

Here’s Everything You’ll Eat at The Clippers’ New Intuit Dome

Sushi-dogs, three meat pizza, and churros that put all other stadium concessions to shame.

See all posts