Who is the artist known as Banksy



The cover of Banksy's 2005 compilation, Wall and Piece.


Banksy [ˈbæŋkzi] (* probably 1974 in Bristol, England) is a British street artist. His stencil graffiti first became known in Bristol and London. The artist also achieved worldwide fame through his activities in other countries, including Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Cuba, Mali, Mexico, Japan, Palestine, Spain, Austria, Canada and the USA. Banksy tries to keep his name and identity a secret.

Banksy uses the tactics of the communication guerrilla, especially when it comes to his sources of inspiration (such as that of the French pochoir artist Blek le Rat) and the adbusters to offer an alternative perspective on political and economic issues. He often changes and modifies familiar motifs and images. He did commissioned work for charity (e.g. for Greenpeace) and designed a number of CD covers, including for the Wall of Sound label and in 2003 for the band Blur.

In addition to using stencil graffiti, Banksy has also installed his own work in museums without authorization in the past. In 2005, his works were hung in this way in London's Tate Modern, New York Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, American Museum of Natural History and the Louvre. In May 2005, Banksy's version of a cave painting depicting a human hunting with a shopping cart was found in the British Museum.

From 1999 on, Banksy showed his works in mostly self-organized exhibitions, as he tends to reject galleries and the art business in general. For example, in the 2003 Turf War exhibition in a London warehouse, to see live animals painted by him. In 2006, the Banksy exhibition Barely Legal took place in Los Angeles, again in a warehouse, which attracted 30,000 visitors. His Banksy vs. Bristol Museum exhibition drew 308,719 visitors in just six weeks in 2009.
The rejection of the art business was also demonstrated by an action in New York in October 2013, in which pictures were sold to ignorant laypeople at bargain prices.

In 2002, in east London, he sprayed a girl with stencils in black and red who was making a heart balloon fly away. "Balloon Girl" was torn from the wall of a shop and, framed, fetched 500,000 GBP (around 560,000 euros) at auction. In a survey of 2000 participants for Samsung TV in July 2017, the picture was chosen as the favorite picture of the British.

In 2002 he sprayed for the first time in Germany, in Hamburg both in the city area and as part of the Urban Discipline exhibition. In 2003 he returned to Germany to spray both legally and unauthorized as part of the exhibition Backjumps - The Live Issues initiated by Adrian Nabi. His legal work in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien with the title "Every Picture Tells a Lie" shows police officers with wings in battle gear and smiley faces. In 2011 it was exposed again under different layers of paint as part of an artistic campaign by the American street artist Brad Downey.

In September 2006 he edited the debut album Paris by Paris Hilton with DJ Danger Mouse and distributed 500 copies of this fake in various British record stores. Danger Mouse changed the music with original compositions and Banksy changed the artwork. Among other things, he showed Hilton's body with a dog's head. The pieces consist of simple rhythms with Hilton's exclamations ("That's hot!"). Also in September 2006, Banksy installed a doll modeled on a Guantanamo prisoner at Disneyland Resort.

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