Banksy Was Here, There And Everywhere
Banksy is NOT on Facebook, Twitter or represented by Steve Lazarides or any other commercial gallery (those words were written on Banksy's website).
Who is Banksy?
Banksy is known as a graffiti artist, political activist and film director of unverified identity, based in England. He started as a freehand graffiti artist in 1990–1994. His work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.
By 2000 he had turned to the art of stencilling after realising how much less time it took to complete a work. Banksy mentions in his book, Wall and Piece, that as he was starting to do graffiti, he was always too slow and was either caught or could never finish the art in one sitting. So he devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour.
Banksy's works have dealt with various political and social themes, including anti-war, anti-consumerism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism. Additionally, the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair, absurdity, and alienation.
Banksy once characterised graffiti as a form of underclass "revenge", or guerilla warfare that allows an individual to snatch away power, territory and glory from a bigger and better equipped enemy. He sees a social class component to this struggle. Banksy's work has also shown a desire to mock centralised power, hoping that his work will show the public that although power does exist and works against you, that power is not terribly efficient and it can and should be deceived.
Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy has held many exhibitions since 2002. He does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but 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.
Here are some of Banksy's works:
Rage, Flower Thrower
Appeared in Jerusalem in 2003. The masked rioter is throwing not a “Molotov Cocktail” but a bunch of flowers.
Naked Man Hanging From Window
This shows a naked man hanging from a window after his clandestine affair looks set to be discovered by his mistress’s husband. It was daubed on the side of a sexual health clinic in Frogmore Street, Bristol. In the last few years the graffiti was unfortunately vandalised with blue paint, but it remains there to this day, albeit in the vandalised state.
Steam Roller Traffic Warden
Appeared on a steam roller parked at the kerbside in Lewisham, London in 2009.
This graffiti piece was produced by Banksy to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and shows a child labourer working to produce union jack bunting in celebration of the event. The work did not last long and was removed in early February 2013.
Follow Your Dreams - Cancelled
A sad-looking working class painter has painted the words ‘follow your dreams’ before having the word ‘cancelled’ stamped over in a rather striking rectangular box. This piece was originally stencilled in May 2010 on the back of the Shabu Shabu Restaurant in Chinatown, Boston.
Graffiti Is A Crime
It is the first of Banksy’s pieces from his month long ‘residency’ in New York City in October 2013. The piece incorporates his distinctive stencil technique and pokes fun at the law by incorporating an anti-graffiti sign. The piece was located in the city’s Allen Street.
Located in a car park on Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles, Swing Girl is another example of Banksy making use of what was already there. The ‘ing’ portion of the parking sign have been whitewashed out to form park and a girl on a swing added to the letter A. It is a comment on how there is a lack of places for kids to play safely in what is a fairly rough area of LA. The artwork appeared in 2010.
GCHQ Government Spies Telephone Box
Appeared on the side of a house in Cheltenham in April 2014. The mural depicts mysterious 1950’s style agents listening in on a telephone box in reference to former CIA agent Edward Snowden exposed techniques used by several agencies. The house on which the mural was painted is close to GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) which is the UK equivalent of America’s NSA.
The Lifestyle You Ordered
Discovered towards the end of 2011 in London, it appears on the side of an empty building believed to be a failed housing project stalled by the recession.
It was the piece created on Day 20 of Banksy’s ‘New York Residency’ in 2013. Banksy makes use of existing features and adds his distinctive stencil style to bring them to life.
It features an Native American Indian sitting on the ground, lamenting the intrusion of the white man and the troubles they brought with them. It appears on a wall in the Mission District of San Francisco in 2010, but was soon marred by other graffiti tags and has now been completely painted over.
It appeared on the wall of a private residence in Southampton, but was painted over in November 2010 just one week after discovery.
I Love You
The words ‘I Love You’ are accompanied by an hour glass with a heart shaped pile of sand trickling out of the top part. This piece which was in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight has been painted over.
Death Of A Telephone Box
Banksy is usually most well known for his 2 dimensional graffiti art, but from time to time his installations also cause something of a stir. This broken telephone box appeared overnight in a Soho street, London. Complete with an axe and pool of blood.
Mobile Phone Lovers
It caused a stir when it appeared close to a boys club in Banksy’s home town of Bristol. The owner of the club removed the door with the intention of using it to raise funds for his club, but it was taken from him by the local council who claimed ownership. However the issue was resolved when Banksy himself sent a letter to the club seeming to condone his choice to use it as a fundraiser.
Better Out Than In
It play of the graffiti term ‘throw up’ my showing a boy vomiting (throwing up), but the vomit is comprised of existing flowers growing up the wall in Los Angeles.
Fat Tourist Rickshaw
Two very fat tourists expect a small, skinny kid to pull them around town in a rickshaw. The small boy and the rickshaw are done in stark black and white with the two fat tourists providing the only spot of color. It appeared at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in 2009, for what was Banksy's biggest ever proper exhibition.
The Consumer Jesus screen-print depicts Jesus as the subject of one of the many recurring themes of Banksy's work, consumerism. The work takes aim at the shopping frenzy during Christmas. Jesus is displayed like he is crucified, but instead of a cross, he is holds three bags on each hand. Inside of the bags appear to be gifts, a candy cane, and small Mickey Mouse doll.
During the early stages of Banksy's New York residency, many of the works were either ragged or completely destroyed. Banksy must have been conscious of this with his ninth installment, titled Crazy Horses. The work appeared in a lot on the Lower East Side of New York, protected by two locked chain link gates armed with barbed-wire. Banksy painted on a small car and delivery truck, which were parked side by side. The vast piece pictured horses sporting night-vision goggles, wreaking havoc on their targets. Like many of the larger pieces, the work was accompanied by a recording. This time the recording featured an audio rip obtained from WikiLeaks. The recording's origins date back to a US airstrike on Baghdad back in 2007. During the airstrike, US soldiers killed two children and a Reuters journalist. One soldier is heard stating, "Well, it's their fault for bringing kids into battle."
Banksy took on the Catholic Church in December of 2011. With Christmas just around the corner, Banksy unveiled a new sculpture titled, Cardinal Sin. The piece went on display at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and instantly became the talk of the town. The work shows what appears to be a replica of an 18th century stone bust priest with a pixelated face. The removal of the priest's face disguises the identity of the subject. It is the same technique used to protect the identity of victims of the sex-abuse cases that were popping up within the Catholic Church. The vandalized priest piece is a commentary on the sexual abuse scandal.
Paris Hilton Reworked Album
During the first week of the album release in August 2006, Hilton became the target of Banksy's latest prank-work. Banksy replaced the singer's CD with an alternate version featuring remixes produced by himself and Danger Mouse. The tracklist featured satire song titles such as, "Why am I Famous?" "What Have I Done?" and "What Am I For?". Keeping with his visual forte, Banksy also changed the CD booklet to display pictures of the singer topless. Another version showed her with a dog's head. What made this prank go over so smoothly was the fact that he left the barcode, allowing the fakes to be sold. Hundreds of CDs were altered in cities such as Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Glasgow and London.
It was appeared at ‘The Art of Banksy’ exhibition in the Beurs van Berlage, June 2016. Banksy’s work has never appeared on walls or in streets in the Netherlands. For the first time a wide range of Banksy’s iconic works becomes accessible to his Dutch and international fans.
Banksy has altered a traditional English portrait and put pie on it. It is traditional oil on canvas of 19 3/4 in x 15 3/4 in. The artwork went under hammer at a Sotheby’s auction in London in June 2007. It must have appealed to the sense of humor of a lot of bidders as it fetched $382,140.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
It is a 2010 British documentary film directed by Banksy. It tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art. The film charts Guetta's constant documenting of his every waking moment on film, from a chance encounter with his cousin, the artist Invader, to his introduction to a host of street artists with a focus on Shepard Fairey and Banksy, whose anonymity is preserved by obscuring his face and altering his voice, to Guetta's eventual fame as a street artist himself. The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2010, and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
The Antics Roadshow
It is a 2011 documentary film focused on "famous pranks and acts of activism which have become iconic". The Antics Roadshow was produced and directed by Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz and was narrated by Kathy Burke.
Banksy Does New York
It is a 2014 documentary film about Banksy's residency in New York City. It was directed by Chris Moukarbel. On Oct. 1, 2013, Banksy launched a self-proclaimed month-long residency in New York City, called Better Out Than In. He was posting one unique exhibit a day in an unannounced location, sparking a 31-day scavenger hunt both online and on the streets for his work.
With installations spanning all five boroughs of New York City, and including a mix of stencil graffiti, sculpture, video and performance art, Banksy touched on such wide-ranging subjects as fast-food wages, animal cruelty in the meat industry, civilian casualties in Iraq and the hypocrisy of the modern art world.
From Queens and Staten Island to Bushwick and the Lower East Side, each new piece was revealed daily on the artist’s @BANKSYNY Instagram account and website, but the exact locations of the pieces remained secret. Using Twitter hashtags and posts to Facebook, Instagram and Vine, art lovers and fans searched the streets for a new and often fleeting glimpse at Banksy’s work.
Banksy in residence drew the attention of Mayor Bloomberg, who stated that Banksy was defacing public and private property. Though the NYPD denied they were hunting the artist, as the press claimed, one day of the residency was canceled due to police intervention.
Dismaland was a temporary art project organised by Banksy. It was constructed in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Prepared in secret, the pop-up exhibition at the Tropicana, a disused lido, was "a sinister twist on Disneyland" that opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and closed permanently on 27 September 2015, 36 days later. Banksy described it as a "family theme park unsuitable for children.
Banksy created ten new works and funded the construction of the exhibition himself. The show featured 58 artists of the 60 Banksy originally invited to participate. 4,000 tickets were available for purchase per day, priced at £3 each.