Banksy is a UK Guerrilla Street Artist who uses computer generated stencils which enables him to work faster, with the less likely possibility of being caught by the law. He has kept is ID a secret from most of us, but there are some who know who he is. Banksy started as a freehand graffiti artist 1992-1994 as one of Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), often assisting writers Kato and Tes. He was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene.
In August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster. In February of the same year his Keep it Spotless (above) reached $1.7 million. Five years earlier his Keep it real was sold on auction in London for 800 Pounds. The success of this artist is phenomenal in spite or because of his satirical and somehow cynical approach to the art market and the art in general.
Some people think that under the pseudo of Banksy -very often written Bansky- the Bristol born artist Damien Hirst is in disguise. Damien Steven Hirst (born 7 June 1965) is an English artist and the most prominent member of the group known as "Young British Artists" (or YBAs).
Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990s and is internationally renowned. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi. In June 2007, Hirst gained the auction record for the most expensive work of art by a living artist — his Lullaby Spring, a 3 metre (10 ft) wide steel cabinet with 6,136 pills, sold for 19.2 million dollars to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar.
In October 2007 his Rude Lord (above at right) made a year earlier fetched $ 550,000 on auction at Sotheby's. There is even a very active Bansky pool on Flickr that can been consulted here.
The Bankrobber Gallery at 52 Lonsdale Rd Notting Hill in London W11 2DE (phone 44 (0) 207 221 1883 offers paintings by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Peter Doherty, Gerald Jenkins and Russel Young.
Recently the secretive graffiti artist managed to erect three storeys of scaffolding behind a security fence despite being watched by a CCTV (City council TV) camera. Then, during darkness and hidden behind a sheet of polythene, he painted this comment on ‘Big Brother’ society. The message displayed in white paint was “One Nation Under CCTV”, ironically placed right next to a CCTV camera.
Under the message is a Stencil painted image of a young boy on a ladder painting the message while a Police officer is seen taking a photo from a distance with his dog on his side.
Finally Westminster City Council has ordered the 23ft-high (7m) mural to be removed from the building on Newman Street. Although the artist's sketches have sold for thousands of pounds at auctions, deputy leader of the council Robert Davis said keeping the mural would mean "condoning" graffiti. What an idiot ! Where has gone the British sense of humour ?