Who is Banksy?
Banksy is an anonymous England-based graffiti artist, which later on grow up to political activist and film director of unverified identity. Banksy’s works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy started his graffiti artist career in early 90s. Banksy was inspired by local artists and their work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene with Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D (Robert Del Naja – member of music group Massive Attack). During this time Banksy met Bristol photographer Steve Lazarides, who began selling Banksy’s work, later becoming their agent. By 2000 Banksy had turned to the art of stenciling after realizing how much less time it took to complete a work. Banksy claims they changed to stenciling while hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when they noticed the stenciled serial number and by employing this technique, they soon became more widely noticed for their art around Bristol and London.
Mostly known artwork of Banksy:
There were many graffities during 2012 London Summer Olympics, but the most talked about work was one depicting a young boy stitching the national flag, a pointed critique on child labor. The piece was later mysteriously removed and placed in auction with an asking price of $500,000 to $700,000. Banksy was not the only one hitting the streets, and many graffiti artists were detained during the lead up to the games.
Banksy’s Crayola Shooter was one of the many works that went up in Los Angeles leading up to the Academy Awards. The work was placed on the side of an Urban Outfitters near the UCLA campus. The piece was created as commentary against child soldiers. The stenciled character is a young boy of Asian descent, firing off ammunition in the form of crayons from a gun roughly the same size as him. The stencil is black and white while the ammunition is colorful. Surrounding the subject are flowers and birds that are drawn in crayon. This leads us to believe that Banksy was insinuating the loss of childhood in a world filled with war.
Banksy’s Kissing Coppers piece dates back to 2004 when it appeared on the Prince Albert Pub in Brighton, England. The piece depicts two male policemen engaging in a passionate kiss. The work suggests that Banksy was touching upon gay rights or presenting an attack on homophobia. After standing for seven years on the pub’s wall, the piece was removed and sent to America for an auction in 2011. The pub’s owner felt the timing was right and stated publicly that the earnings from the piece would be invested back into the establishment.
More artwork of Banksy can be found HERE.