Banksy is an unknown English graffiti artist, political activist, film director, sculptor, and painter. His satirical street art combines irreverent dark humor with graffiti done in a distinctive stenciling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene that involved collaborations between artists and musicians. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco, Banksy was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.

Known for his disdain for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to sculpt physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.

Banksy's first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Due to the illegal nature of his work, Banksy has remained anonymous, although recently some photos have surfaced, which possibly identify the artist, but it is all still extremely up for debate, seeing as how his style is so prolific that it has spawned several impersonators.
This is the image released of Banksy:


Throughout his career, he has touched on several political and satirical issues, including the relief efforts of hurricane Katrina, the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, racism in the south, consumerism, and the notion of undeserved fame.

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He does not limit himself to just street art, he also divulged into the world of popular music. When Paris Hilton released her CD in 2006, Banksy bought a copy, photocopied the information and changed it to reflect the undeserved celebrity surrounding her. Changing several images including one of her in front of a row of homeless individuals with the phrase "90% of success is just showing up." He did this vigilante style and several of the copies were purchased by unknowing individuals.

He also printed a large amount of counterfeit money replacing the Queens image with that of Princess Diana, and changing the text from "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England". These were thrown out in large quantities and later the £10 notes were sold at auction for over twenty times their value, basically prompting the notion of the value we place on things and why.

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Despite having gained alot of fame from his work, he continues to produce work today. He was named one of Time magazines top most influential people in 2010, and his work continues to branch out into other areas. He recently provided the content for the opening credits to an episode of The Simpsons which commented on the lax economic and labor rights laws in China.

I am extremely drawn to Banksy's work for several reasons. It is aesthetically pleasing, subversive, and it is done without permission which to me makes the vigilante act and potential danger something that I can relate with. Enclosed now are several more images of his work, and I feel it is an inspiration to question what is the norm, go against the grain and create something original, and have a good time doing it. I really don't like work unless there is humor in it, and although he touches on some serious issues, it is all done with a soft hand of humor, which is one of the truest human emotions. So take what you will from his work, but even though no one is certain of his true identity, his work speaks volumes enough to make him one of the best known artist of our time.



Banksy. Wall and Piece, 2006. Century Publishing.

Collins, Lauren. "Banksy Was Here: The Invisible Man of Graffiti Art". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 26, 2011.

Kennedy, Randy. "Need Talent to Exhibit in Museums? Not this Prankster". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2011.

Manco, Tristan. Stencil Graffiti. London. 2002. Thames & Hudson Publishing.

Ryzik, Melena. "Where Fish Sticks Swim Free and Chicken Nuggets Self-Dip". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2011.