Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based street artist, political activist and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. Active since the 1990s, his satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique. His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls and bridges throughout the world.
Banksy was born in Bristol, England. He attended Bristol Grammar School. He began painting graffiti in the early 1990s.
Banksy's first major work of graffiti was the "Slave Labour" mural, which appeared on the side of a Poundland store in Easton, Bristol in 2003. The mural depicted a young boy chained to a wall and painting a Union Jack flag. The mural was widely praised and attracted international attention.
Banksy has gone on to create a large body of work, including stenciled paintings, sculptures, and photographs. He has also directed several films, including Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) and Crude Oil (2012).
Banksy's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. He has also sold his work at auction. In 2018, one of his paintings, "Girl with Balloon", sold for £1.05 million at Sotheby's in London, with a stunt that made him even more famous. Banksy engineered a way to shred the painting during the auction that since then changed his title in "Love is in the bin"
Banksy's work has been controversial. He has been accused of vandalism and of promoting crime. However, he has also been praised for his social commentary and for his ability to make art accessible to a wider audience.
A controversial career
Banksy's works has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010).
His original works has sold at auctions for millions of dollars, with the highest result in October 2021 at Sotheby's, when his "Love is in the bin" went for USD 23,000,000.
He has been accused of vandalism and of promoting crime and a the same time, he has also been praised for his social commentary and for his ability to make art accessible to a wider audience.
Banksy's real name and identity remain unknown. He has stated that he wants to remain anonymous so that his work can be judged on its own merits.
Banksy has been accused of vandalism and of promoting crime. In 2005, he was arrested for painting a mural on the side of a train. He was later released without charge.
Banksy has also been criticised for his use of stencils. Some critics argue that stencilling is not a legitimate form of art.
Banksy is one of the most famous and controversial street artists in the world. His work has been praised by some and criticised by others. However, there is no doubt that he has had a significant impact on the art world.