Banksy the famous unknown
An artistic biography uses different techniques and styles to be attractive.
We can highlight the artist's most outstanding successes, controversies, issues, motivations, events that define his life... but with Banksy we are confronted with the most effective and seductive element when it comes to building a vital story: the mystery.
How to talk about Banksy , an artist that nobody knows, who has never been seen but who became the most famous graffiti artist in the world?
Easy, we speak through your works.
Banksy's possible identity
It's not every day that a prestigious university like Queen Mary University, London, devotes its energies to researching the possible identity of an artist... alive.
However, in 2016, a study was published which revealed that Banksy could be Robin Gunningham, a man born on July 28, 1973 in Yate.
But how did the University of London establish a plausible graffiti identity?
By studying the coordinates of Banksy's murals across Bristol and London, investigators have been closing a list of possible suspects.
It seems that art always has the answer, although Banksy's method of unraveling the mystery comes from the world of criminology, where tactics of this style are used to catch criminals.
However, this was not the first suspicion of Banksy's identity.
In 2008, the Daily Mail published an alleged photograph of Banksy in the midst of artwork in Jamaica.
In his early years, he was also part of the DryBreadZ graffiti group when Bristol graffiti and underground culture were booming in the 1990s. Banksy is also said to be Robert Banks, a mere would-be butcher.
an ideological art
Whoever Banksy is , the reality is that graffiti transcends not only the unknown it represents, but also its art. Banksy's art is an ideological art, which fits into the post-graffiti movement, and is overtly political and with a clear anti-classical, anti-war and anti-system component.
Banksy is concerned with expressing, through images, a profound social criticism, with a leftist orientation, which normally transforms those who go through the immediacy of their visual language.
Like many Street Art artists, especially post-graffiti artists, Banksy often resorts to stenciling. It is a technique officially created by Parisian Xavier Prou, also known as Blek le Rat, who introduced the technique of pochoir inspired by Mussolini's advertising and New York subway graffiti.
This technique consists of applying, through an aerosol, paint on a certain model (usually card) and reproducing the image in series.
When Banksy goes into the urban environment, he uses the facades of buildings as an artistic support to apply the stencil, a tradition we have seen since the discovery of rock art hidden in prehistoric caves.
But Banksy also used other techniques Abstract Expressionism, like dripping that Pollock did, dripping and signing negatively on the floor, or freehand drawing to, from time to time, write some loose message.
a great publicist
Banksy , in addition to being an artist, is a great publicist. He managed to create a legend around his figure and insert himself in the art market in a lasting way.
Banksy started painting freehand until the experience diverted him to stenciling and creating his own typography, his brand image.
Banksy's content also defines him: social criticism, irony and counter-advertising are his three Trojans with which he dares to make parody and comedy in public space.
And while it's true that Banksy's images need an active eye, it's not too difficult to unravel the meaning of her messages. Its artistic appropriation is not a mere aesthetic vehicle for the transmission of an image, but an ingenious complaint that we may or may not share, but always very clear.
Pop Art is also an inspiration for Banksy as it forms an avant-garde art movement with close ties to advertising.
Banksy reproduces some elements subtracted from the pop icons and modifies them to get a social speaker. Banksy knows that icons catch the eye of the general public, so he uses his charisma to create a subversive and hyper-visual story.
Any Banksy work can be an iconic work.
Still, there are some unavoidable ones, like the Mild West mural (1999) from the number 80 Stokes Croft in Bristol, the portrait of Kate Moss in Warholian style in 2005, the well-known and melancholic Girl with Ballon (2002) from South Park in London or the controversial Kissing Coppers (2004) on the wall of a bar in Brighton, where two English policemen kiss passionately.
But we can't stop quoting your works.
For example, Banksy's latest proposal, in which he denounces through a QR code a YouTube video from 2016 in which the police attack an immigrant camp called " The Jungle ".
Cosette's shocking face from Banksy's Les Miserables at the French embassy in London cannot be ignored either. On this occasion, the girl cries in front of the French flag because of the tear gas commonly used in riots (2016) or the stencil used by Banksy at the Bataclan in Paris (2018) that left for posterity the overwhelming specter of a crestfallen and sad woman .
Finally, just a few days ago, the painting Show me the Monet (2005) in which Banksy pays homage to Claude Monet and reinterpreted him by adding traffic cones and shopping carts to the portrait of water lilies in Giverny's garden, was sold at auction for nearly 10 million of dollars.
Banksy on P55
At P55 we have numerous Banksy lithographs for sale which you can access through the following links:
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