The Street Art of Banksy
Who is Banksy? This question is asked by many people around the world. Banksy is an anonymous street-artist based in England who is also known as vandal, political activist and film director. His graffiti art always contains political and social criticism with a sense of humour. The expressions can be found on walls, bridges and streets all over the world. Art collectors are willing to pay millions for a real art piece of Banksy.
In 2010 he made his debut at the Sundance Film festival with the documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop. The film was even nominated for an Academy Award as the Best Documentary Feature. It tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art.
Banksy Is …
But let’s get back to the question – who is Banksy? Is he really a member of the famous Trip-Hop pioneers Massive Attack? No one can exactly say who Banksy is. Scientist from the Queen Mary University tried to solve this puzzle. They wanted to find the street-art phantom using “geographic profiling” and criminalistics methods. 140 art works were used as basis for profiling. The locations of his art works allowed to calculate the probability of a place of residence of this unknown artist.
The result suspected an artist named Robin Gunningham from Bristol as the man behind the popular name Banksy. Various addresses and places associated with Gunningham were found in the study. But it all seemed to be just a diversionary tactic and the search for Bansky still goes on.
Art lovers, activists and also graffiti artists around the globe are interested in the mysterious identity of Banksy. His works can be found in London, Vienna, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Bristol and many other cities.
Banksy has started his graffiti art in the 1990’s in Bristol, his provocative work often goes viral and people are willing to pay six-figure sums for his iconic art pieces.
In 2018 one of the Banksy’s artwork was presented at the Sotheby’s auction in London. The Girl with the Balloon was sold for 1 million GBP, but the happiness of the buyer was short: at the moment the auctioneer said “sold” a shredder hidden in the picture frame divided the picture into numerous paper strips. No one knows if Banksy was present at the auction and activated the shredder or an employee of the auction was involved. But the price of the shredded art doubled its value.
Now Bansky is an international icon who turns the world upside-down in his art works. In 2010 he was added to the list by Time Magazine of the world’s 100 most influential people. So, he joined celebrities such as Lady Gaga, politics like Barack Obama or business magnate Steve Jobs. And today he is still unknown, and people are going on to guess who he is.