Paris Is Burning

In an absolutely brilliant act of subversion (headslap! -- why the hell didn't someone think of this before?), Banksy, one of the world's most infamous and prolific grafitti artists, has directed his aim towards the most vapid and inexplicable of American celebrities, the would-be-pop princess who is Paris Hilton.

A month prior to the album's stateside release, Banksy covertly placed 500 modified copies of Paris's debut disc in stores across the UK. The intricately planned and expertly executed ruse features Photoshopped depictions of the heiress's bare breasts on the cover of the disc, alongside photos of her stepping out of a car in all her trademark fabulousness in front of a row of homeless men — with a caption on top that reads, "90% of Success Is Just Showing Up."

Now, that's hot.

But, wait, it gets even better: Ol' Banksy fashioned a retail sticker touting his custom remixes on the amended disc, complete with titles such as "Why Am I Famous?" "What Have I Done?" and "What Am I For?" And then, lest the message become obscured by the deed, another header ensures that the manifesto is clear: "Every CD you buY puts me eVen further out Of youR league."

Listen to one of Banky's remixes and check out video documentation of the stunt below. Pictures of the modified liner notes can be peeped here. -- Dave Herrera

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun