Banksy (Real Name and Date of Birth Unknown)
Banksy is a graffiti artist. Despite the popularity of his work, and despite the fact that he has released books and staged major exhibitions, Banksy's identity has remained anonymous, though there has been much speculation about who he is.
Early Life: It is believed that Banksy is originally from Yate in South Gloucestershire, close to Bristol. It is also thought that he was born around 1974 and became involved in the rising popularity of graffiti art in the 1980s. Between 1992 and 1994, Banksy was a part of the DryBreadZ Crew.
Career: Banksy's work is very often a satirical look at modern life, consumerism and politics. His stenciling style recalls the work of Blek le Rat, who started graffiti work in Paris in 1981. It is also similar in its style and ethos to the work of the anarcho punk band Crass, who staged a long-term stencil campaign on the London Underground in the 1970s and '80s. Since the meteoric rise in the value of Banksy's work, it has been known for art auctioneers to sell his street graffiti on location and then leave the removal of the work in the hands of the person who purchased it. In July 2009, two people discovered one of Banksy's Gansta Rats graffitied in Whitechapel in East London. When he visited Australia in 2001, Banksy met up with the reclusive visual activist James DeWeaver. Whilst he was there, he stenciled a parachuting rat over the toilets at the Arts Factory Lodge. Banksy's first Los Angeles exhibition was entitled 'Existencilism' and was staged in a gallery owned by Frank Sosa. Banksy's 'Turf War' show saw the artist painting on animals. It drew the attention of animal rights activist, one of whom chained herself to railings in an act of protest. The RSPCA had already stated that they did not deem the exhibition unsuitable. In 2003, Blur used one of Banksy's pieces for the cover of their Think Tank album. Similarly, Banksy was also responsible for the cover of the Bristol band Monk and Canatella's Do Community Service. Banksy has also been known to semi-replicate and alter well-known paintings. For example, he recreated Monet's 'Water Lily Pond', with urban litter, including a shopping trolley, floating in the pond. At 2004's Notting Hill carnival a number of fake bank notes were thrown into the crowd, which the recipients then tried to spend in local shops. The notes were of Banksy's creation. Rather than reading Bank of England, they read Banksy of England and instead of the Queen's head, they featured that of Princess Diana. In 2007, a signed poster containing 10 of the notes sold at Bonhams for £24,000. Banksy's 2007 'Barely Legal' exhibition in Los Angeles featured a live 'elephant in a room'. The elephant was painted pink and decorated with gold floral wallpaper. The value of Banksy's work has continued to rise and has become hugely popular with celebrities. Christina Aguilera bought his Queen Victoria piece for £25,000. His Kate Moss paintings then went for £50,400 at Sotheby's. His Mona Lisa stencil sold for over £57,000. The highest price paid at auction so far, for a Banksy piece was £102,000. This was the price paid for his 'Bombing Middle England' piece. Some of Banksy's work can be seen in the film Children of Men, starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. In another Clive Owen film, Shoot 'Em Up, Banksy's tag is seen in the films credits, on the side of dumpster. Banksy replaced 500 copies of Paris Hilton's album Paris with a CD of Danger Mouse's remix work, featuring his own cover art. There is a Banksy mural on the side of a house in Bristol. Originally, the house was on sale through regular means. However, when it became apparent that the prospective buyers wanted to remove the mural, the owners of the house decided to sell via an art gallery. It was listed as a mural with a house attached. In June 2009, Banksy hosted an exhibition at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. More than 100 works of art were included in the show. In 2010, Bansky took part in the Sundance Film Festival through a project entitled 'Exit Through The Gift Shop'. The piece was a film made by the artist, and was supported by a collection of pieces painted throughout Salt Lake City. In December 2011, Banksy released 'Cardinal Sin' - a bust of a priests face with the pixelated effect used on criminal television shows in order to draw attention to the child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. In 2012, his 'Parachuting Rat' piece in Melbourne was accidentally destroyed by plumbers. In 2013, Banksy began a month-long show in New York City entitled 'Better Out Than In'.
The elusive Bristol artist gave a rare interview with a community magazine.
Banksy's identity is something that's been a topic of discussion for some time and, in more recent months, many thought they'd cracked the case of the Bristol street artist, claiming that Massive Attack musician Robert Del Naja was the man behind the mask.
Banksy is responsible for some fantastic work
Robert's close friend Goldie then seemed to slip up in a podcast when discussing Banksy, after he said: "No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over."
Continue reading: Banksy Denies He's Massive Attack Musician Robert Del Naja
Goldie appeared to lend further credibility to a rumours that Banksy is actually Massive Attack founder Robert Del Naja.
The real identity of the world-famous anonymous artist Banksy has for many years been the subject of speculation. However, one theory that the graffiti genius is actually Massive Attack leader Robert Del Naja has gotten new credence after fellow musician Goldie appeared to let slip his name.
The drum & bass DJ was speaking on Scroobius Pip’s weekly Distraction Pieces podcast, and was talking about how the art world had co-opted graffiti for gain while the art form itself was still saddled with negative perceptions.
“Give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write Banksy on it and we're sorted. We can sell it now,” Goldie ranted. “No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
Continue reading: Did Goldie Let Slip Banksy's Real Identity?
The kind of vandalism you wish would happen to you.
The only time you'll ever want your property to be defaced by a graffiti artist is if its by Banksy. Then suddenly you've got a valuable piece of art right on your doorstep. The pupils and teachers of one British primary school are the latest to be honoured.
Banksy's been at it again
Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol decided that they would name one of their classrooms after the elusive contemporary artist recently, and sent a letter to Banksy to let him know about their dedication. In true Banksy fashion, he secretly took over their playground during the half-term break to leave them a token of his appreciation.
Continue reading: Banksy Gifts Primary School With A Mural Of Their Own
Using ‘geographic profiling’, scientists believe that artist Robin Gunningham is in fact Banksy.
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London claim to have solved the art world’s biggest mystery, just who is Banksy? After using a technique often used to catch serial criminals, the scientist say they can confirm Banksy is in fact artist Robin Gunningham, who has long be rumoured to be the man behind the graffiti.
Has Banksy finally be unmasked?
Using geographic profiling, the team said they identified obvious patterns between artworks credited to Banksy and the movements of Gunningham in London and Bristol. The selected locations, which included pubs, playing fields and residential addresses, were all said to lead back to Gunningham.
Continue reading: Scientists Believe They Have Uncovered Banksy's Real Identity
Timber from Banksy’s Dismaland is being sent to the migrant camp at Calais to build shelters.
Banksy’s pop-up art installation, Dismaland, is being dismantled but he’s made a very special request and one which will help thousands of people living in extremely difficult conditions. The Bristol based artist is sending timber from his ‘bemusement park’ installation to Calais where it will be used to build shelters for the refugees currently living in shanty town like conditions close to the French port.
An example of Banksy's work at the Stealing Banksy? exhibition in London, April 2014.
Continue reading: Banksy Is Sending Dismantled Dismaland To Calais Migrant Camp
The seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare is hosting the artist’s new exhibition.
‘Dismaland’, the new exhibition by artist Banksy is causing crowds of thousands descend upon the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare in the hope of getting tickets. The exhibition offers a dark and twisted take on a Disneyland style theme park, with installations including a distressed looking castle and an overturned Cinderella’s carriage.
Continue reading: Thousands Queue To Experience Bansky's Dark 'Dismaland' Exhibition
Banksy has condemned the 'Stealing Banksy' exhibition.
After weeks of shadowy new works, Bristolian street artist Banksy has broken his silence to condemn an exhibition claiming to be "the most expensive collection of Banksy artworks ever assembled."
The 'Stealing Banksy' Exhibition has Been Condemned By The Bristolian Artist
In a statement on his website, the artist - or a spokesperson for the artist - said: "The Stealing Banksy' exhibition taking place in London this weekend has been organised without the involvement or consent of the artist."
Continue reading: Banksy Breaks Silence To Condemn 'Stealing Banksy' Exhibition
is THIS Banksy?
Banksy has apparently been caught on camera installing his latest creation in Bristol. CCTV cameras set up to deter graffiti artists filmed two people dressed as workmen unloading kit from the back of a white van in the early hours of Sunday morning,
Banksy has been popping up again
The footage captured by Bristol's Broad Plain and Riverside Youth Project, which recently announced it plans to sell Banksy's 'Mobile Lovers' piece, which appeared on the outside of their building. Youth leader Dennis Stinchcombe said he hoped to raise around $100,000 for the struggling Boys' club in Bristol.
Continue reading: Gotcha! Has Banksy Been Unmasked On Camera? [Video]
Banksy has popped up in Cheltenham.
Banksy strikes again! Or, at least we think he has. The mysterious street artist appears to have unveiled his latest creation in Cheltenham - lampooning governmental surveillance by stencilling three 1950's style agents using devices to tap a telephone box.
Banksy Has Dealt With The Subject of Suveillance Before
The work appeared overnight on a street in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, just a few miles from the headquarters of the UK's surveillance network, GCHQ. Residents tell The Guardian that they saw a group of men packing away a large white tarpaulin at about 7.30am on Sunday (April 13, 2014) before driving off in a maintenance van.
Continue reading: Did You Spot Banksy's Getaway Van In Cheltenham? New Artwork Pops Up
Yet another Banksy has been scraped off a wall and sold in America.
One of Banksy's most instantly-recognisable graffiti artworks 'Kissing Coppers' has been sold in the US for $575,000 (£345,000) after being chiselled off the wall of a Brighton pub. The news that yet another chunk of painted wall has been sold for a small fortune in the States comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the artist's 'Girl With A Balloon' will soon be scraped from its North London wall to meet the same fate.
Banksy Made Waves During A Month-Long Residency In New York Last Year.
It has been argued that street art that becomes framed and sold or placed in a gallery loses its unique appeal yet some would counter that if left exposed to the elements, Banksy's work would have a much shorter lifespan than if preserved and looked after by a collector. 'Kissing Coppers' was sprayed on to the wall of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street near Brighton city centre in 2004.