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Who is Banksy?

imageYou may have heard of him before, he goes by the name “Banksy”.  Who is he?  Nobody really knows his true identity as fact (at least publicly).  I am sure someone in the world has a secret or two they are keeping with them to the grave.  If you have heard the name Banksy before chances are you have seen his artwork too.

Banksy is a very well known and popular street graffiti artist from the UK.  He is known for his stencil graffiti which typically addresses government, politics, capitalism and war issues with a touch of satire. Part of the reason he is so popular is because of his anonymity.  His identity is well guarded. He has good reason to because not only does he take on social issues with his art, officials see it as vandalism and can be sought out on criminal activity.  

I would say part of his fame is due to his anonymity which adds mystery to his profession. Some claim to have caught him on camera and have showed picture evidence of it, but nobody really knows if this is really him.  His art has become so popular there are even copy cats, so who knows if a copy cat has been pictured. There are also stories that he has hired artists to do work for him.

If you look up Banksy on Wikipedia there are some accepted facts about him like he was born in 1974 and was raised in Bristol, England.  Some say his name is Robin Banks or Robin Gunningham.  He also recently directed his own film called Exit Through the Gift Shop which is about a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art.  The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. In January 2011, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature but didn’t win.  There was much speculation if Banksy would show up for the awards and if he did would he show his real self. Will we ever know the true identity of Banksy?  Maybe…but I for one like the mystery around it and would prefer not to know.  Here are some of his more famous pieces.

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The picture below was published by The Daily Mail and claims to be of a man who they say is Banksy.  The artist caught on camera wrote on a container “THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT”.  Again, nobody knows if this was the work of Bansky or not or if this is even him.  This piece was done the night before the Oscars in LA a few days ago where Banksy’s documentary was up for an award.

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Back in 2008 The Daily Mail also claimed to have caught Banksy on camera and took this picture of a man next to a spray can.  I would have to say these are two different people, but it’s hard to say for sure.

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Final verdict is nobody for certain knows who Banksy is.  The artwork pictured above can be found on the Banksy website where you can also buy some of his pieces and see more of his work.  You can also watch some of his videos through his Banksy YouTube channel.


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