Banksy is a street graffiti artist living in England just outside of London. His graffiti art has brought him worldwide acclaim … in the last few years his work has been exhibited around the globe and he is now internationally recognised as the king of graffiti art!
Banksy Is The World’s Most Wanted Graffiti Artist Article on the street artist called "Banksy".
You can see graffiti in every country in the world. It often defaces walls, poles, trains and the fronts and sides of buildings. Graffiti is considered undesirable vandalism to its victims who spend time and money to paint over or wash it off their property. Indeed, graffiti painting is an ongoing problem in many subway stations and on public walkways, signs, cement walls, and other locations.
However, on the streets of the United Kingdom near London, an artist called Banksy continues to gain international recognition and fame for his graffiti. The fact is that Banksy’s "street art" has become immensely popular with both pedestrians and private art collectors alike. In the last several years, there have been a number of exhibitions and auctions of Banksy’s art work as his popularity has soared.
The growing popularity of his art is in evidence in the secondary market where a painting titled "Space Girl and Bird" sold for $575,000 in an auction event last year (2007). In fact, Banksy’s art can now be found in many private art collections worldwide. Banksy has also produced leaflets and books on art and has his own website. He self-published his first three books, "Existencilism," "Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall," and "Cut It Out."
His latest book called, "Wall and Piece," was published by Random House and has already sold more than two hundred and fifty thousand copies. Nevertheless, Banksy continues to keep his real identity secret to avoid arrest and prosecution. His anonymity is said to be born of a desire to be a "quality vandal" and to elude the police. He once said, "Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked, where the street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. . . . A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business." He has a unique view of the art world as well. He has said, "The art world is the biggest joke going. It’s a rest home for the over-privileged, the pretentious, and the weak."
Banksy’s graffiti began appearing on trains and walls around Bristol, England in 1993. By 2001, his street art could be seen all over the United Kingdom. His art has a distinctive style which makes it easy to recognize. It features attention to detail and uses layered stenciling and spray paint. Banksy uses familiar images and his pictures contain dark humor and are often controversial. His art is often focused around anti-war, anti-establishment, and anti-capitalism themes. Sometimes Banksy’s works have a pro-freedom message.
Banksy uses rats as images in many of his pictures. His most famous street paintings are a series of black-and-white stenciled rats. Many of these rats are created to be larger than life. The rats have become immensely popular with London pedestrians. A "gangster rat," painted on a wall near the Smithfield market, wears a peace-sign medallion and carries a sign that says "Welcome to Hell." Another rat holds a sign that reads, "Please love me."
Other Banksy art features the image of two policemen kissing painted on a public wall. In another picture a military helicopter is adorned with a pink bow. Winston Churchill has a Mohawk haircut in another. He has even produced revisionist oil paintings such as Mona Lisa with a yellow smiley face, and a pastoral landscape surrounded by crime-scene tape. Banksy, dressed in a disguise, installed them in the Louvre and the Tate.
Banksy often uses public walls as a background to display his art. Although recently he has been creating art on canvas as well. In addition, Banksy sometimes enters museums and galleries to add his own art to the museum collections. In the last several years, Banksy’s street art has been seen internationally. It has been found in the Middle East on Israel’s West Bank barrier, and in various countries worldwide including Spain, Palestine, Germany, and the United States. He painted the security fence at Bethlehem with a scene of a hole in the concrete barrier. The hole revealed a glittering beach on the other side.
Banksy is viewed by people in many different ways. To some he is an anti-hero who touches the public conscience. Others think of him as an anti-social rogue who vandalizes public property. Some people who have done business with him consider him to be both a genius and a madman. Many view him as unique and irreverent.
On his website Banksy states that he has bought a taller ladder to use in his work. So there can be no doubt that his graffiti ("street art") will continue. For their part, the authorities in the United Kingdom will continue to try to identify and subsequently arrest Banksy, the world’s most wanted graffiti artist.
James William Smith has worked in senior management positions for some of the largest financial services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. Mr. Smith has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Boston College. He enjoys writing articles on political, national, and world events.