Artist
Banksy
pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, and painter

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Banksy
pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, and painter

Birth Date

1974

Contributor

People are obsessed with Banksy.

Ever wonder why there are so many conspiracy theories floating around out there? It's because the world is filled with crazies who love storytelling. Banksy's anonymity entices them and fuels the fire for the best game ever: guessing who the @$%# Banksy is!  

When it comes to this illusive street artist, there's no lack of oddball theories to excite those wannabe Sherlocks. Here are just a few of the many, many speculations about the identity of this iconic street artist:

  • Banksy is actually a woman, or rather an art collective lead by a woman. 
  • Banksy once starred in a documentary on street art entitled Exit Through the Gift shop, in which he teams up with pretentious French artist Mr. Brainwash. While this movie is a commentary on how commercial street art is getting, many also see this film as a mock-umentary and suggest Mr. Brainwash is actually Banksy himself.
  • Elitist artist Damien Hirst actually funds Banksy’s career as a backwards attempt to gain more notoriety for his own work. (Banksy has been known to slander Hirst's art but all press is good press, right?)

As fun and diverse as these theories are, Sartle wants to give you the stone cold facts. So here are some things that we actually know about Banksy:

  • He is the most famous street artist. Ever.
  • His work is so covetable that people actually strip the outside of buildings off so they can turn around and sell his pieces. Not a bad idea considering his art has been known to fetch over 1.8 million in auction...
  • He made it onto Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2010, in the company of Barack Obama and Steve Jobs.
  • He used to sneak his art into museums and hang his work on the walls alongside masterpieces. Instead of getting in trouble, many of the museums ultimately adopted these works into their permanent collection. 

As much as it may peeve us to think we may never truly know who this artist is, we may have to live with not knowing. Banksy once said, “I figure there are enough self-opinionated a$$holes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is.” Well, he's not wrong.

While his identity may remain a mystery, we'll never forget his cheeky stenciled graffiti drenched in political leftism. Also with this artist’s conniving antics that captivate the public’s attention and raise questions about the commodification of street art, it is doubtful that Banksy's reputation will fade. His career is simply too juicy for gossip driven art nerds like us.

Contributor

Awesome Banksy quotes include the following:

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives."

"Bad artists imitate, great artists steal." (Okay this is a quote by Picasso stolen by Banksy. Meta.)

"I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me.”

Commenting on sales of his own work, “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this s**t."

"I had a normal upbringing. I come from a dysfunctional family."

When people accuse his work of being simplistic, "Well, duh...Most of this stuff is designed to be viewed from a moving vehicle."

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy's work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of the English musical group Massive Attack.

Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but 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 created a documentary film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie", which 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 for the film. In 2014, he was awarded Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Banksy.