back

The Story of Banksy

His satirical painting “Devolved Parliament” just sold for a record-breaking $12.1 million. He's one of the most controversial, celebrated, and elusive artists of modern times — this is the story of Banksy.

Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge

He doesn’t need to be seen to be a success. Banksy is one of the most prized guerilla/graffiti artist/political activists in the world. In 1999, his first known mural was discovered in Bristol. He started using stencils after hiding from the police to be more efficient. The message behind his work is fiercely anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment. He uses subjects like rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children and the elderly.

Despite his fame he has never revealed his true identity. Around 2000, his works started appearing across London. In 2005, he travelled to the West Bank and created 8 stencils. His art can be found on streets, on buildings, and in public spaces., so it is easily painted over or destroyed — like in 2007 when Transport for London painted over the iconic mural. Banksy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his 2010 art world satire Exit Through the Gift Shop. Communities are now fighting to keep his works in their original spaces. He has held exhibitions in L.A. London and Sydney. Some of his works have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a 2018 stunt, his “Girl With Balloon” self-destructed after being sold for $1.4 million. His 2009 “Devolved Parliament” featuring chimpanzees in Britain’s House of Commons has sold for $12 million at Sothetby’s. The artwork became Banksy's most expensive to date in London on October 3, 2019.

Surface-level revisions of paintings are made by artists all the time. When reached for comment, Sotheby’s confirmed that the painting going up for auction is indeed the same work as the one shown in Bristol a decade ago. A representative for the company told the New York Times that the changes were made by the artist himself, though the timeline for the alterations and the motives behind them are unclear. Still, given Banksy’s high-profile stunts, it’s tempting to speculate that he may have something up his sleeve again.

Brut.

10/03/2019 8:49 PMupdated: 10/07/2019 3:06 PM

38 comments

  • Stephanie B.
    07/19/2020 16:35

    The Banksy/Robbo Feud was when I learned about graffiti artists.

  • Jessie H.
    07/18/2020 20:30

    Love Banksy 💖. He says things through his paintings that the rest of us are to scared to say out loud.. Just cuz we might 'offend' the snowflakes..

  • Matt E.
    07/18/2020 04:23

    Check out JPS from Weston super mare. His art is awesome.

  • Nor A.
    07/17/2020 20:52

    Wow..a deep profound message tru art, beautifully done and expressed.First time heard of this banksy chap/gal.

  • Virginia M.
    07/17/2020 04:10

    Much Respect Banksy!!!Your thoughtful,Brilliant Art speaks the Truth to Power! Thank You‼️❤️

  • Pieternel D.
    07/16/2020 16:07

    !

  • Shabbir A.
    07/16/2020 12:11

    BANKSY has changed the Face of MODERN ART but his ruthless, clueless, mindless followers has mutilated his change.

  • Stephen S.
    07/16/2020 09:52

    It’s the dude from Massive Attack. Thought this was common knowledge...

  • Reese C.
    07/16/2020 04:13

    Long live banksy

  • Izabel C.
    07/16/2020 02:22

    Banksy❤️

  • Barbara E.
    07/15/2020 21:58

    Peace ✌️ and love ❤️ Banks, where are you?

  • Julián S.
    07/15/2020 17:08

    HAMPARTE

  • Arlene M.
    07/15/2020 17:02

    just whoaaa

  • Joseph R.
    07/15/2020 16:13

    Wack with a political agenda

  • Shelly R.
    07/15/2020 16:02

    are we positive banksy is a male?

  • Jeffrey P.
    10/26/2019 21:43

    [email protected] banksy! If you’re a true graffiti artist or stencil artist then you’ll realize he ripped of blek le rat and trashed one of the oldest graffiti pieces in Europe! He’s nothing but a copy of what has already been done!!! Team robo

  • Kelly C.
    10/22/2019 15:09

    🖤

  • Adolph B.
    10/16/2019 16:36

    Art-hype=work. Lot of hype lots of followers few leaders. Innovate not inundate.

  • Himanshu S.
    10/10/2019 07:21

    Devolved parliament is my wallpaper now 👌💯

  • Kyler W.
    10/08/2019 20:14

    🤡🤡🤡🤡🪀🪀🪀🔫🥏🎯🎲🚼🚼🚼🚼🚼🚼 TOOOOOOOOYYYYY

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

switch-check
switch-x
By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.