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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
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23 comments

  • 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

  • Kate W.
    10/07/2019 19:22

    His ‘devolved parliament’ painting.... really? Look again.... he just sold it. All credit to the original artist as it’s an awesome piece of work.

  • Andrei P.
    10/06/2019 22:45

    He Street Artist ... try to sell his art in NY on Street...Sold only 2 for 70 Each....Sreets not for Him

  • Nuri K.
    10/06/2019 15:06

    Woow!! a mysterious multi millionaire... but he’s anti Capitalist ! Right ? 😁

  • Wayne G.
    10/06/2019 10:14

    Good

  • Elaine G.
    10/06/2019 02:31

    Anti capitalist and just sold for 12 million? Wow what hypocrisy ❗️

  • Carolyn B.
    10/05/2019 11:36

    has your work been called banksy's work before I thought it possibly had. What about the clown piece as well?

  • Kevin H.
    10/05/2019 09:53

    ...no tallent people are so easy to fool with stupid stunts

  • Christina A.
    10/05/2019 05:47

    , here's some Banksy for you

  • Timothy L.
    10/04/2019 16:59

    He sure doesn't SOUND anti-capitalist.

  • Brut
    10/04/2019 14:06

    Learn more about Banksy's record-breaking sale: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-49924281

  • Abdeldjalil B.
    10/04/2019 13:47

    🙀

  • Pete R.
    10/04/2019 11:55

    How can you even know he is the one that's done every single one if you dont even know who it is? Anyone could paint something and write his name and noone would have a clue

  • Kat B.
    10/04/2019 09:28

    The girl on the balloon swing is not Banksy! It's from aka JPS https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/story/2013-05-12/is-this-banksy-at-work/

  • Heatherbell F.
    10/04/2019 08:11

    I love , not the person, but the idea as much as the ideology. Banksy, can you come to Hawai'i? Have some fun and draw things in the sand❣️

  • S J.
    10/04/2019 06:21

    Banksy come to India please!