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Banksy : Unmasking the Unknown

Amidst the peak of fame and worldwide pep, remains an artist, unknown to the masses yet so cruelly involved in their lives. Panning over a period of almost thirty years, starting from the year 1990, lives amongst us a street artist, political activist and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed till date.

Banksy, the England-based artist presents his satirical street art and subversive epigrams integrated with dark humor completed in strikingly different stenciling methods. His works of political and social acts have appeared on streets, walls and bridges throughout the arena. 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 and founding member of the musical group, Massive Attack.

Balloon Girl, 2002

Due to the secretive nature of Banksy's paintings and identity, it is uncertain what techniques he makes use of to generate the photos inside the stencils, although it's widely assumed that he uses technical help or means of a computer because of the photographic fineness that his work is known to have. He mentions in his book, Wall and Piece, that as he was beginning to do graffiti, he was always either caught or could never finish the art in a single sitting. He claims he changed to stenciling while hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when he noticed the stenciled serial number. He then devised a series of intricate stencils to minimize time and overlapping of the color. There exists a debate about the effect that appears in the background of his paintings. While it is claimed by Banksy, that he was influenced by musician and graffiti artist, 3D. Another source credits the artist's work to resemble that of French graffiti artist Blek le Rat. It is said that Banksy was inspired by their use of stencils, later taking this visual style and transforming it through modern political and social pieces.

Slave Labour, 2012

Banksy has repeatedly characterized his graffiti as a medium of “underclass revenge", or a guerrilla struggle that allows an individual to snatch away power. Banksy sees this act as a social elegance issue, he remarks "If you don't own a train company then you go and paint on one instead.". Banksy's works have dealt with diverse political and social issues, which include anti-conflict, anti-consumerism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism. moreover, the additives of the human condition that his works generally critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, depression and absurdity

Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, asserts that Banksy's paintings are “simple vandalism”. some other reliable for the equal agency stated: "we're concerned that Banksy's street art glorifies what is largely vandalism."

Valentine's Banksy, 2020

In recent times, it is referred to that Banksy does not sell snap shots or reproductions of his graffiti, but his public "installations" are regularly resold, often even by removing the wall they were painted on. Many of his paintings can be categorized as “temporary art”. A small range of Banksy's works are officially, non-publicly, bought by the means of a company created by the artist himself, called Pest Control.

Fittingly, the latest chapter in the enigmatic Banksy’s saga involves an unsolved mystery. This summer, during the covid-19 pandemic, Banksy was declared to be self isolated and as a result of creative frustration, he drew a piece in his own bathroom. Naturally, a twist occurs: The details of this piece remain undisclosed. Somewhere in London, a pair of new Banksy's await discovery.


1. Smithsonian Magazine (2012, February 13) | The Story Behind Banksy 2. BBC West (2021, August 19) | Banksy : What Do We Know About The Artist ?

3, Britannica (2018, July 23) | Banksy's Biography

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