Bansky is a revolutionary and an artist, an activist and a filmmaker who has captivated the art world. Hailing from Great Britain, Bansky’s pieces evoke powerful emotions with stirring content that engages his audience. For bringing about controversial subjects in his unusual yet provoking graffiti style art, Time Magazine nominated his as one of 2010’s most influential people in the world- quite a feat for a graffiti artist. Since then, he has incorporated canvas, sculpture and film as his medium of self-expression. Although technically his art is against the law, his spray paintings, or bombings, as he calls them have captured the imagination of the art world and his fans span the globe.
His paint bombings have been spotted in the cities of London, San Francisco, Barcelona, Paris and even in Afghanistan to name a few. He often fuses imagery of beauty with stark reality and sometimes brutality to bring attention to our inhumanity to each other.
Despite his notoriety, Bansky has remained anonymous through his career, despite multiple attempts to unmask him. His identity is protected by wearing a paper bag over his head and by a group called Pest Control, who also serves to authenticate his street art. His career started in the 1990’s in the underground art scene in Bristol, where he often collaborated with other artists and musicians. His well known distaste of government entities and machinations of war and greed are often the subjects of his dark humor and have sparked controversy worldwide.
Although he does not sell his street art or reproductions, he has moved on to canvas art which has made it into many art exhibits, including the Louvre. His 2010 film “Exit through the Gift Shop” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival for which he painted several wall murals to coincide with the film’s opening.
He is an elusive artist to say the least and his work appears in many unconventional places, such as the London Zoo, where he snuck in to the penguin exhibit and painted a mural with the phrase, “We are bored of fish”. He also opened up an art shack in Central Park where he sold several original works for about 25$ a piece. One of his most amusing antics was to sneak in and place his own subversive artwork in major museums such as the American Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Chances are if you live in or visit any major city in the world, you may catch a glimpse of his work however you will have to go hunt them down as his ethos requires people to get involved and experience his art rather than to go see them in a controlled environment. For a more complete list of where to go to view Bansky art, you can check out this map of street art on the Bansky tumbler page.