Banksy may or may not have been born in 1974. Although his identity remains a mystery, Banksy’s ‘guerilla’ art has been in the spotlight for nearly 20 years.
Banksy started his graffiti career on the streets of Bristol in the early 90’s when he started using freehand graffiti techniques. The use of stencilling was gradual but by the late 90’s stencilling was Banksy’s signature style.
Known for his anti capitalist themes, satirically critiquing war and his political viewpoints, Banksy has used his art to draw attention and create conversation.
“We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves.”
Banksy’s subject matter includes the every day; policemen, rats, apes and children to name a few, but those in the public eye have also been used to convey a message. Banksy has been known to use copyrighted material, famously using Monet’s iconic images of water lilies and adapting the image to include shopping trolleys and rubbish floating in the scene.
For an artist whose identity remains a mystery Banksy has done a remarkable job of proliferating the art world with his works. Banksy has exhibited around the world (although often the exhibits are unauthorised) and his pieces have consistently fetched prices exceeding half a million dollars.
In 2010 Banksy produced, ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ a movie about the explosion of street artists, particularly in Los Angeles. The film was nominated for an Academy Award the following year.
Banksy’s art is a unique commentary on modern day life and it laughs in the face of authority, creating art, and humour, out of his and others’ lives.