Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based street artist, political activist and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation.
68 Facts About Banksy
Banksy's work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.
Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist and founding member of the musical group Massive Attack.
Banksy looks like a cross between Jimmy Nail and Mike Skinner of The Streets.
Banksy reportedly lived in Easton, Bristol during the late 1990s, before moving to London around 2000.
Banksy is commonly believed to be Robin Gunningham, as first identified by The Mail on Sunday in 2008, born on 28 July 1973 in Yate, 12 miles from Bristol.
Several of Gunningham's associates and former schoolmates at Bristol Cathedral School have corroborated this, and in 2016, a study by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London using geographic profiling found that the incidence of Banksy's works correlated with the known movements of Gunningham.
In October 2014, an internet hoax circulated that Banksy had been arrested and his identity revealed.
Banksy was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene with Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D.
Banksy was the goalkeeper for the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls football team in the 1990s, and toured with the club to Mexico in 2001.
Banksy's first known large wall mural was The Mild Mild West painted in 1997 to cover advertising of a former solicitors' office on Stokes Croft in Bristol.
In 2003, at an exhibition called Turf War, held in a London warehouse, Banksy painted on animals.
Also in 2004, Banksy created a limited edition screenprint titled Napalm.
Banksy produced 150 signed and 500 unsigned copies of Napalm.
Banksy held an exhibition called Barely Legal, billed as a "three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza" in Los Angeles, on the weekend of 16 September 2006.
Banksy painted the same site again and, initially, the actors were portrayed as holding real guns instead of bananas, but they were adorned with banana costumes.
Sometime later, Banksy made a tribute artwork over this second Pulp Fiction work.
Banksy depicted an angel wearing a bullet-proof vest holding a skull.
On 21 May 2007 Banksy gained the award for Art's Greatest living Briton.
Banksy, as expected, did not turn up to collect his award and continued with his anonymous status.
However, as of 18 January 2008, Banksy's Manifesto has been replaced with Graffiti Heroes No 03, which describes Peter Chappell's graffiti quest of the 1970s that worked to free George Davis from imprisonment.
In late August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster.
The council said it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and specifically stated that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child".
Banksy invited artists from around the world to exhibit their works.
In May 2009, Banksy parted company with agent Steve Lazarides and announced that Pest Control, the handling service who act on his behalf, would be the only point of sale for new works.
In September 2009, a Banksy work parodying the Royal Family was partially destroyed by Hackney Council after they served an enforcement notice for graffiti removal to the former address of the property owner.
In December 2009, Banksy marked the end of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference by painting four murals on global warming.
The feud has led to many of Banksy's works being altered by graffiti writers.
Banksy created 10 street artworks around Park City and Salt Lake City to tie in with the screening.
Banksy reportedly paid a San Francisco Chinatown building owner $50 for the use of their wall for one of his stencils.
Many people speculated if Banksy would show up at the Oscars in disguise and make a surprise appearance if he won the Oscar.
In early March 2011, Banksy responded to the Oscars with an artwork in Weston-super-Mare, UK, of a little girl holding the Oscar and pouting.
Banksy was credited with the opening couch gag for the 2010 The Simpsons episode "MoneyBart", depicting people working in deplorable conditions and using endangered or mythical animals to make both the episodes cel-by-cel and the merchandise connected with the program.
Banksy's name appears several times throughout the episode's opening sequence, spray-painted on assorted walls and signs.
In January 2011, Banksy published the original storyboard on its website.
In May 2011 Banksy released a lithographic print which showed a smoking petrol bomb contained in a 'Tesco Value' bottle.
Banksy produced the poster ostensibly to raise money for local groups in the Stokes Croft area and to raise money for the legal defence of those arrested during the riots.
In July, prior to the 2012 Olympic Games Banksy posted photographs of paintings with an Olympic theme on his website but did not disclose their location.
On 18 February 2013, BBC News reported that a recent Banksy mural, known as the Slave Labour mural portraying a young child sewing Union Flag bunting had been removed from the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green, north London, and soon appeared for sale in Fine Art Auctions Miami's catalogue.
Banksy posted a mock-up of a New York Times op-ed attacking the design of the One World Trade Center after the Times rejected his submission.
In February 2015 Banksy published a 2-minute video titled Make this the year YOU discover a new destination about his trip to Gaza Strip.
Banksy opened Dismaland, a large-scale group show modelled on Disneyland on 21 August 2015.
In 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of the British control of Palestine, Banksy financed the creation of the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.
Banksy has since released a video on how the shredder was installed into the frame and the shredding of the picture, explaining that he had surreptitiously fitted the painting with the shredder a few years previously, in case it ever went up for auction.
Banksy has released another video indicating that the painting was intended to be shredded completely.
Banksy then revealed that the painting was in fact his via an Instagram video soundtracked by the festive children's song 'Little Snowflake'.
In early October 2019, Banksy opened a "pop-up shop" named Gross Domestic Product in Croydon, South London to strengthen his position in a trademark dispute with a greetings cards company who had challenged his trademark on the grounds that he was not using it.
Banksy claimed it had contacted Banksy's lawyers several times to offer to pay royalties.
On Instagram, the artist said it was a "record price for a Banksy painting" and "shame I didn't still own it".
At 13 feet wide it is Banksy's biggest known work on canvas.
On 13 February 2020, the Valentine's Banksy mural appeared on the side of a building in Bristol's Barton Hill neighbourhood, depicting a young girl firing a slingshot of real red flowers and leaves.
Banksy dedicated a painting titled Painting for Saints or Game Changer to NHS staff, and donated it to the University Hospital of Southampton during the global coronavirus pandemic in May 2020.
The image of a stencilled rat sitting on two spray cans signed by Banksy featured in the sixth episode of the first series, and was painted over by the character Frank, played by Christopher Walken, while he was cleaning a graffiti-covered wall as part of his Community Payback sentence.
In November 2022, Banksy posted on social media images of a mural on the side of a damaged building at the town of Borodianka, appearing to confirm a visit to Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
Banksy created six murals in Kyiv, Irpin, Hostomel and Horenka.
Banksy has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile artworks, including the following:.
Many artworks by Banksy have been vandalised, painted over or destroyed.
Banksy then devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour.
Some critics claim Banksy was influenced by musician and graffiti artist 3D.
In 2018, Banksy created a piece live, as it was being auctioned.
Banksy once characterised graffiti as a form of underclass "revenge", or guerrilla warfare that allows an individual to snatch away power, territory and glory from a bigger and better equipped enemy.
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.
Banksy's work has critiqued the environmental impacts of big businesses.
Banksy has been producing a number of works and projects in support of the Palestinians since the mid-2000s, including The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.
Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, asserts that Banksy's work is simple vandalism.
Banksy has been long criticised for copying the work of Blek le Rat, who created the life-sized stencil technique in early 1980s Paris and used it to express a similar combination of political commentary and humorous imagery.
Banksy was accused of being "inconsistent with honest practices" when trying to trademark his image of a protester throwing a bouquet of flowers.
Banksy has published several books that contain photographs of his work accompanied by his own writings:.