The Street Work of Banksy: British Graffiti Artist

Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Banksy’s work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy “was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.” Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is active today.

Known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself;  however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.  Banksy’s first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as “the world’s first street art disaster movie,” made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.  The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010.  In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film.

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14 thoughts on “The Street Work of Banksy: British Graffiti Artist

  1. Pingback: 7×7 Link Award « Make Something Mondays!

  2. You did it again, Megan! I absolutely love your shares. I also love Banksy’s sense of humor, especially in the political arena. He is very talented artist, indeed. 🙂

  3. I came across a coffee table edition of Banksy’s work and became so intrigued I researched him and found a documentary at the library. Amazing talent and the element of mystery makes him that much more interesting. Great share!
    Happy Pages,
    CricketMuse

  4. Astonishing fellow, indeed! I wasn’t aware of him. I particularly liked the skeleton on a boat. Of course, I warm to satire!

    Next time I’m in Bristol, I’ll try to meet him (if he continues to dwell there, that is).

  5. Megan, very interesting photos! The sixth one down really caught my eye because I have seen several lately of that same theme (‘little men in orange vests’). Not sure if it is the same artist. I will send you a link to some I have viewed once I relocate the exact pictures I want to reference.

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