Celebrity Paris Hilton has become the latest victim of “guerrilla artist” Banksy after he doctored hundreds of copies of her latest album and smuggled them into record shops.
The notoriously secretive artist has “reworked” the sleeve of Hilton’s debut album by superimposing a dog’s head on top of the svelte singer’s topless body.
The 500 tampered albums also come with a sticker on the cover, boasting that the album contains the hits: Why am I Famous?, What Have I Done? And What Am I For?
Inside the accompanying booklet, a picture of the heiress emerging from a luxury car has been retouched to include a group of homeless people.
Hilton’s own bubblegum pop songs have also been replaced with a 40-minute CD remixed by an artist, mysteriously giving his name only as DM.
Rumours are rife that the man behind the new mix is Danger Mouse, who is best known for his hip-hop group Gnarls Barkley.
Banksy is thought to have smuggled the albums into stores and placed them on shelves next to the authentic Paris Hilton albums last week.
His spokeswoman, Jo Brooks, said he had visited stores in Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London.
The CDs, which will be worth considerably more now than the originals, have been distributed in 48 high-street stores and independent shops.
The artist left the original barcode on them so people could buy the CDs without realising they had been interfered with.
“They’re very subtly done and do look like the original albums,” she said.
“You have to look quite carefully to see what he’s done.
“I don’t like to speak on his behalf but I think he’s saying you can be a celebrity but you don’t have to do music.
“I don’t know what the reaction will be in America or whether she would even get it.”
A spokesman for HMV said the chain had recovered seven CDs from two Brighton shops.
“The album hasn’t been selling that well so we managed to find three in one store and four in another because there weren’t that many on the shelves.
“We’re planning to auction them, because presumably they’ll be worth quite a bit and highly collectible.
“It’s not something we want to see all the time, but with an artist like Banksy we can give him a bit more leeway and he can probably get away with doing things that the rest of us can’t.
“He’s said something I’m sure a lot of other people will think in regard to her album and the publicity might actually help her sell some more records.”
Bristolian Banksy has regularly courted controversy with a series of daring art projects.
Last year he targeted a security wall in Israel, creating nine stencil sprays on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier.
He also placed a painting of a can of Tesco value tomato soup and a woman wearing a gas mask in art galleries in New York.
The British Museum also fell prey to one of his most famous art pranks when he placed a hoax exhibit, entitled Early Man Goes To Market, on the wall, where it went unnoticed by staff for hours.
HAHA i like this guy