Banksy

Artist b.1973 (UK)

Banksy, (born 1974?, Bristol?, England), anonymous British graffiti artist known for his antiauthoritarian art, often done in public places.

 

Though Banksy’s identity was well guarded, he came to notice as a freehand graffiti artist in 1993. Using stencils since 2000 to enhance his speed, he developed a distinctive iconography of highly recognizable images, such as rats and policemen, that communicated his antiauthoritarian message. 

In late 2018 Girl with Balloon (2006), a canvas version of one of Banksy’s most popular murals, startled onlookers at an auction when the work seemingly self-destructed by partly shredding just after selling for $1.4 million. 

Although he was increasingly famous, Banksy remained anonymous; his rare interviews were conducted via e-mail or with responses delivered by an altered voice on tape. He remained committed to street art, declaring that life in a city in which graffiti was legal would be “like a party where everyone was invited.” 

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