The story about him is almost like a myth. It is believed that Banksy is a native Yate, born in 1974. However, this is only an assumption. Time magazine even wrote that he is one of 100 most influential people in the world. His works are worth hundreds of thousands dollars, and his most expensive art piece was sold for $1.7 million. Today, he has left his artwork in cities from Vienna and San Francisco to Barcelona, Paris, and Detroit. So why is Banksy so special? Could it be that the entire story about his unknown identity is the most popular thing about him? Or his works are more important than he himself?
He developed the anti-establishment views he grew up with in Bristol. Inspired with a new visual style, Banksy pursued more political targets with his work. He took his art outside the walls of galleries and replaced it on the walls on abandoned houses and tunnels, making them available to all people. His works reflect attitudes and views that are inside of every human head. Just we all are afraid to say those things out loud. Some of his most famous works are
- THE SON OF A MIGRANT FROM SYRIA - depicts Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs as the son of a Syrian migrant to the United States, emphasizing the satirical situation about migrants,
- MOBILE LOVERS - highlights the disconnection between lovers using mobile devices, which represents one of the most challenging problems of the modern world,
- THE MILD MILD WEST - depicts a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at the riot police, showing the true face of the US,
- BOMB HUGGER - depicts a young girl, with a ponytail and a skirt, hugging a military bomb, emphasizing the true nature of war,
- THE FLOWER THROWER, where he depicts a young man involved in a riot, throwing a bunch of flowers. This mural is printed on T – shirts around the globe and it was actually painted on a wall in Bethlehem.
- The picture called THE BANALITY OF THE BANALITY OF EVIL, which Banksy bought for $50, depicts a Nazi soldier who enjoys in a beautiful and scenic view of a lake in the mountains. It was sold for $615000 and recognized as the single, most valuable donation ever made to a charity organization for homeless people. He proved himself as an anti-political activist, human rights activist and even animal rights activist.
Before he was invited to exhibit in galleries as a legitimate artist, Banksy (apart from drawing on walls) had a different way of showing his works to the public. He has managed to break into museums in United Kingdom and one in United States. He visited the famous Tate Britain gallery in London. With a mask over his head, he stuck one of his paintings on the wall, where it stood for hours until the adhesive was dry, and the painting fell from the wall. The same trick was repeated at the British Museum, where he hung up a fake cave painting showing a caveman riding a shopping cart, complemented by the inscription "This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the post-catatonic era." The picture remained unnoticed for a few days but then was set as a piece of permanent collection. However, Banksy work is not just about politics. He has something to say even when it comes to music and celebrities. He once replaced five hundreds of a Paris Hilton CD with his own remix and her cover was replaced by his pictures. It is amazing that no one who has bought this CD turned it back.
Unfortunately some of Banksy works were stolen, disappeared or even demolished. However, most of his art can be found online. His art is now available all around the globe. He himself has become some kind of a brand for all graffiti writers. Undoubtly, the mischievous, anonymous outsider who paints beautiful, realistic pictures became an inevitable part of the world's art scene.
© 2017 Fatima Memija Bahtic
Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on June 03, 2020:
I have never heard of this man.
He was quite satirical with his art. He obviously didn't care for following protocols by the way he placed his artwork with sticky posts on busy museum walls. What gall of someone whom I could have easily enjoy being with for a time, if I didn't worry about getting into trouble.
Artists do make a difference!
Fatima Memija Bahtic (author) from Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 26, 2018:
I completely agree with you, he's really brave, I like that he has the courage to speak out, and he does it through his wonderful graffiti art
Mark Tulin from Santa Barbara, California on January 26, 2018:
I love Bansky’s depictions of the wealthy and the ruling class.