Banksy’s real name according to common belief is Robert Banks and he was born in 1974 in Bristol and started graffiti during the late 1980s.
There are little facts available about him but his works are all over the world. His works are very amusing and his personality just shines through in his work. The art shows a satirical side of politics, culture and ethics. He uses a stenciling style when he does his graffiti work. It can be said that he does work for the sake of doing art. He does not sell pictures of his graffiti or do exhibitions in commercial art galleries.
There was much movement and hype with the Bristol underground scene. Banksy was influenced and inspired by local artists. In 1992-1994, he was a freehand artist and he worked with other artists and writers like Kato and Tes.
After a few years, he made enormous graffiti on walls beside the work of Inkie, a graffiti legend. Banksy made “Walls on Fire”. There was a weekend long event that established his name in the European graffiti scene. The event magnetized several graffiti artists all over UK and Ohio.
In 2000, he discovered that he could make artworks faster when he used stenciling. His stenciling techniques are very distinctive. He expresses his humor by combining funny images of people and animals with striking slogans. These are clearly shown in his work.
The messages and concepts conveyed by his work are usually anti-war and anti-capitalist. Then in 2001, he went to the land down under and collaborated with the artist James DeWeaver.
In 2003, there was a show called “Turf War”, Banksy painted on animals. This has raised animal rights activists to action. A woman even chained herself in protest.
Banksy is known to make challenges in art.
He subverted Monet’s Water Lily Pond, and made it his own by adding litter and a shopping trolley on the painting. Since, he already subverted a great artist’s work, he made British spoof notes.
He changed Queen Elizabeth’s head with the head of Princess Diana’s head. That was not all he changed. He changed “Bank of England” to “Banksy of England”, showing that no only can he express himself in drawing, but also in words.
He was later held a vandalizing extravaganza in Los Angeles, his exhibition was called ‘Barely Legal’. He made art works depicting Queen Victoria as a lesbian and made skill-screen prints following Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe style. He also did his own version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. His works were a success and sold more than they should.
In 2007, his works were auction in Sotheby’s auction house. A work reached £102,000. His other works also sold for huge sums. As a reaction for his success Banksy posted another artwork in his website. It was a picture of people buying his works from the auction house with a message saying, ‘I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit.”
Banksy earned an award for Art’s greatest living Briton. Since, he does art for art’s sake and his a very recluse person; he did not collect his award. His actions and art speak for themselves; it is a reflection of what a magnificent artist is.