Banksy’s former agent and photographer has released never before seen pictures of the elusive artist at work, but without showing his face.
Steve Lazarides, who worked with Banksy for over a decade, has shared several “in action images of the artist” ahead of the publication of his book Banksy Captured, a 250 page documentation of the street-artist’s life and career.
“I worked with him for 11 glorious years, during which time we broke every rule in the rule book along with a fair few laws,” Lazarides said in a statement. “I hate the art world. I only became part of it because Banksy catapulted the movement into the stratosphere. It was a ride – however, I’m glad I’m out of it and about to enter the next ride,” he added.
After a chance commission to photograph Banksy back in 1997, Lazarides struck up a relationship with the artist and went on to become his driver, photographer, and eventually, his gallerist. But is the scruffy-haired guy in his pictures the real deal?
Chris Kelly, the BBC’s digital editor for the West of England seems to think so. He recalls being one of the first journalists to visit Banksy’s satirical theme park Dismaland back in 2015, just before it opened to the public: “As I was on my way out,” he said, “there was a door open that led to an office. Inside was a group of people, one of whom had very familiar, shaggy dark hair, as seen in these photos.”
“The security guard clocked that I’d looked inside the office and hastily shoved me out the door. Banksy appears to prize his anonymity and that’s what makes these rare photos of him in action all the more interesting,” he added.
Lazarides’ book is published in December, and the first 50 people to buy it will get one of Banksy’s fake £50 notes with Princess Diana’s face printed on. There’s also one “golden ticket” up for grabs, the winner of which will receive a screen print of the artist’s “Bomb Middle England”.