Banksy is a British street and graffiti artist. He likes to remain anonymous and not let people know his true identity. He often draws in high visibility public places such as on buildings or train stations. His paintings are often about politics, war and other important topics.
His satirical street art and mind-hurting pictures combine dark humour with graffiti. The graffiti is done with a stencilling technique. Such works have been done on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy’s work started in the Bristol underground scene, which had collaborations between artists and musicians. According to 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”. His style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris, and to members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which did a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Underground system in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. He 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 movie, 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 movie was released in the UK on 5 March 2010. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the movie.