Banksy is a British street artist and activist who, despite worldwide fame, has maintained anonymity. Although details of the artist’s life are largely unknown, it is thought that Banksy was born in Bristol around 1974, and started his career in the city as a graffiti artist. Banksy’s work is a visual cultural criticism and commentary, with established social and political agendas serving as targets for a unique style of illustration made using stencils and spray paint. He was the first UK graffiti artist to successfully bridge the gap between street and fine art.
Banksy started making edition prints in 2002 and created over 50 in an 8 year period. His wit, humour and message have connected with a large international audience and he has become one of the hottest and most important living Contemporary artists in the world.
Banksy’s work is often site-specific, with an element of multi-media or performance as an accompaniment. ‘Better Out Than In’, was Banksy’s month-long residency in New York during October 2013, featuring a man selling the artist’s work for $60 each near Central Park. In 2015, Banksy opened Dismaland Bemusement Park, a temporary art exhibition, which served as a criticism of corporations such as The Walt Disney Company. Banksy lives and works in England. His most current exhibition is a pop-up hotel in Jerusalem, ‘Walled Off Hotel’, adjacent to the wall which separates Israel and Palestine. Banksy said in a statement that it has, “the worst view of any hotel in the world” and is to act as “a three-storey cure for fanaticism, with limited car parking.”