Famed as much for his obscurity and anonymity as he is for his artwork, you have got to admit, Banksy is one of this generations most influential artists. His name is recognised by our youth as much as our older generation, and Lets face it, most teenagers would not have heard of René Magritte or Merello but they are likely to have heard of this risk taking street artist.
Outside art pieces from the graffiti artist have been appearing since the eighties and he is still going strong, yet we still seem to know very little about the artist himself, and that is just how Banksy seems to like it, Google his name, you will see pictures upon pictures of his artwork, but his face is not one that appears often in the image results. This is one of the very few pictures of him floating around the internet.
According to author Tristan Marco , and his book Home Sweet Home, Banksy was born in 1974, grew up in Bristol and trained as a butcher, but got involved in graffiti in the late 80’s. How much of this is true we really do not know, as he keeps it all cloe to hs chest, he claims on his website that he neither uses Facebook or Twitter. What we do know, is that most, if not all of his outside artwork leaves a strong message to the government that he adamantly disagrees with their stance, that graffiti is vandalism as opposed to art.
His Official website has a questions and answers page and here is how he has answered a few of those questions.
Is it cheating to use stencils?
Stencils are good for two reasons;
One – they’re quick ; two – they annoy idiots.
Why are you such a sell out?
I wish I had a pound for every time someone asked me that.
Is Banksy just a big brand these days? Do you even paint your own pictures?
It’s not supposed to be a brand, which is why people in advertising think it’s such a good one. I paint it all myself unless its illegal, in which case I’ve never seen any of it before, your honour.
Whatever the truths or myths surrounding this man, he has undoubtedly, left his mark on this world, as one of the most innivative artists of his time, and i am sure he will be addorning our treets with more of the same for years to come.