Banksy is one of the most mystical modern figures in the genre of street art. This pseudonym is now known throughout the world, because it was he who managed to pay such close attention to graffiti and raise it to the rank of modern art.
A brilliant artist or a brilliant charlatan, who has a well-coordinated technical and PR team on the international level behind his shoulders?
There is much controversy around the biography of this great hoaxer.
The first version - the real name of graffiti artist is Robert Banks, he was born in 1974 in Bristol. And that’s all, in fact.
According to the second version, which is announced on the basis of the investigation by scientists from Queen Mary University of London, the real name of Banksy is Robin Cunningham, said the media in 2016.
The third version, by British journalist Craig Williams, Banksy is Robert Del Naya, the musician of the world-famous band Massive Attack, singer and graffiti artist.
Once a respected DJ Goldie in the interview arguing about the work of Banksy, mentioned the name of Robert, which was interpreted as belonging to the name Del Naya. The musician himself said that the personality of Banksy has nothing to him. According to another assumption, Williams believes that the work of Banksy can be a collective, given the huge amount of work.
On October 20, 2014, the National Report news site reported that Banksy had been detained and declassified, that he was a member of a 5-member Vandal team detained at Watford during a 24-hour operation. National Report has indicated the real name of Banksy artist - Paul Horner, 35 years old, originally from Liverpool. The British editions ignored the news, there are no references to the event and on the BBC website, and this source was referred to by the National Report. And some Russian media have reprinted this message, although it is known that the National Report is a satirical and parody news website.
Thanks to his talent, excellent technique and of course the interesting and accessible in society themes of his drawings, Banksy quickly gained popularity, first in England and then all over the world. In the late 1990s, he began to study graffiti and for quite a long time acted as an ordinary street artist, but the scope of his art was increasing, and the themes of his works became sharper and more controversial, affecting social phenomena in the aspect of opposing statehood. The authorities increasingly began to pay attention to the work of the rebellious spirit, forcing the artist to run and hide. One day in England, once again hiding from the police, Banksy began to think about his own stencil system in order to save time on drawings. Stencils became the author's trademark style. Using it is the ability to act lightning fast, pick up a spray can and hide.
The courage and talent of the artist were also transmitted by word of mouth, or rather, from phones to phones, and so spread throughout the world, thanks to the power of the Internet.
A whole book can be written about the famous tricks of Banksy.
At the end of the article you can read excerpts from Wikipedia with dates and incidents *
Speaking about the artist's work, we would like to note that his works are a look and a response to world public events.
Look at the famous phone booth, exhibited in 2006 in London Soho. Opinions regarding the meaning of work are divided. One camp condemned the artist for the attempt on the classic symbol of London, the other admired the idea of the form of communication of former times.
One of Banksy's favorite messages to society is peacemaking, criticizing hostilities and political provocations. You can name a number of works of the author with a similar theme.
A girl hugging a bomb was depicted in East London in 2003.
The same idea of the work, which appeared in Jerusalem in 2003 and is considered the most famous among the works of Banksy.
The guy in the mask, throwing a bouquet of flowers instead of incendiary, is a tremendously dynamic and intellectual work that penetrates deep into the mind.
In the autumn of 2006, in several London stores, he quietly replaced the discs - the album of the singer Paris Hilton with discs - the forty minute song of his friend Danger Mouse and his own drawings.
In 2010, Banksy took part in the Berlinale Berlin International Film Festival with his film “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, passing incognito along the red carpet of the festival. The artist “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, whose name Banksy used for his film debut, the artist presented one of his works as compensation. The film is nominated by an American film academy for the Oscar —2011 in the category “Best Documentary Feature Film”.
In January 2011, there were reports on the Internet that an unusual lot was put up on eBay - a scrap of paper with the real name of Banksy written on it. The seller is an American hiding under the pseudonym jaybuysthings. In the description of the lot, he wrote the following:
"If you win this auction, I will mail you a piece of paper with the real name of Banksy. I revealed his identity by verifying the sales data of his work with tax records. I will not reveal more details. The winner of the auction will be the only person in the world with whom I will ever share this information. On the paper will be indicated only the name and not a word more. I give you a 100% guarantee that this is the most likely name for Banksy. The previous auction was closed by eBay itself due to the fact that I was selling something "intangible". Now it is a physical object."
The starting price of the lot was $ 3,000. After the 38th bet, it reached $ 999,999. At the moment, the lot has been removed for an unknown reason. The media also suggested that this lot was put up by Banksy himself or his accomplice.
In October 2011, when one of the street pictures of Banksy in Bristol was smeared with black, the citizens considered the incident an act of vandalism. Previously, Bristol homeowners, under pressure from public opinion, had already been forced to preserve street art on the walls of buildings.
In June 2013, the “Slave Labor” graffiti painted by Banksy in May 2012 in response to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II was auctioned for over 750 thousand Euros.
In October 2013, Banksy held an exhibition of his work on the streets of New York. Every October day there appeared at least one piece: graffiti, installations, promotions and video art. Banksy also laid out works on his website and on Instagram, accompanying them with pseudo-artistic ironic audio commentaries.
On August 22, 2015, Banksy, together with 50 invited artists, opened a comic-satirical exhibition with an element of the Dismaland amusement park. The exhibition was devoted to apocalyptic topics, as well as topics of acute social problems.
The park was opened for 5 weeks, on September 25, 2015, a large show was held with film screenings, as well as with the participation of Pussy Riot and Massive Attack groups.
On October 5, 2018, a girl with a balloon was bought at Sotheby’s. The exclusivity of the fact lies in the fact that immediately after the end of the auction the picture was cut into patches in front of the bidders - it passed through a shredder embedded in the frame. On his website, Banksy explained that he built the shredder into the picture frame several years ago, and that the reason for this is that “Striving for destruction is also a creative impulse” (aphorism of the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakunin). Since the paper shredder hidden in the picture frame worked only partially, the result of the action became a new art object, called “Love in the dustbin”, and according to the reviewers, it doubled in price.
At the moment - this is the last mega-scale action, arranged by a truly non-standard and intricate consciousness. The news thundered so vividly that it appeared not only in the instagrams of all the galleries and museums, blogs about culture and art all over the world, but also among the ordinary people whose hearts are penetrating deeper and deeper into the art of this mystical talent.
One of the last works of Banksy in 2017 on a political theme - a worker who erases one star from the flag of the European Union, it symbolizes the author’s attitude to the UK’s exit from the European Union.