Banksy
Everything we know about

Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous street artist (real name unknown, obviously) whose work has primarily cropped up across the UK since the early 1990s. He came up as a member of Bristol’s DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), working as a freehand graffiti artist before switching to his signature, stencilled style. As part of the Bristol scene, he became known by other artists such as Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja and met the photographer and gallerist Steve Lazarides, who would later become his agent.

Any acquaintances that do know his identity have evidently agreed to keep it a secret over the years, though a slip-up by Goldie in 2017 renewed speculation that he is, in fact, Del Naja (a claim Del Naja denies). Other theories include GorillazJamie Hewlett and, bizarrely, the former Art Attack presenter Neil Buchanan.

Banksy’s satirical stencils – which often express anti-war or anti-capitalist sentiments, as well as tackling topics such as homelessness or Extinction Rebellion’s climate change protests – gained increasing notoriety around Bristol and London, leading to an impromptu London ‘exhibition’ in 2001. In 2003, he staged a breakthrough London exhibition titled Turf War in a Hackney warehouse, showing paintings on live animals.

Since then, Banksy has created the subversive Weston-Super-Mare theme park Dismaland– featuring appearances from acts like Run The Jewels and Savages, alongside work by Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer – and an art-themed hotel on the West Bank, which comments on the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

Reflecting the skyrocketing value of his work, Banksy’s painting “Devolved Parliament” smashed estimates to sell for nearly £10 million in 2019. The following year, his 2005 oil painting that adds shopping trolleys to Monet’s famous water lilies painting sold for £7.5 million at auction. Still, buyers had better beware, since the notorious prankster sold a self-shredding artwork in 2018 (though the new owner seemingly profited off the prank). In line with his anti-commercial messaging, Banksy has often donated artworks for charity causes. In 2020, he donated refugee crisis paintings to raise funds for a Bethlehem hospital, and funded a rescue boat for refugees attempting to reach Europe.

Richard Corman’s Basquiat
Art & PhotographyWinners of this NFT auction may destroy the original Basquiat drawing
Banksy, Subject to Availability (2009)
Art & PhotographyA painting Banksy ‘vandalised’ to highlight climate change heads to auction
Banksy, Game Changer
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s Game Changer sells for a record sum in aid of NHS charity
Banksy, Create Escape still
Art & PhotographyBanksy shares a behind-the-scenes look at his latest artwork
Banksy
Banksy Antiques Roadshow
Art & PhotographyThis man tried to sell his stolen Banksy on Antiques Roadshow
Banksy ‘Flower Thrower’
Art & PhotographyBanksy is at risk of losing the rights to his work because he’s anonymous
Is Art Attack’s Neil Buchanan Banksy?
Art & PhotographyIs Neil Buchanan actually Banksy? An expert weighs in
Banksy Captured, Steve Lazarides
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s former agent is selling artworks from his personal collection
Louise Michel, Banksy's boat rescue
Art & PhotographyBanksy accuses coastguards of ignoring distress calls in the Mediterranean
Banksy funds refugee rescue boat
Art & PhotographyBanksy funds a rescue boat to save refugees trying to reach Europe
Banksy’s “Banksquiat (Black)” (2019)
Art & PhotographyRare Banksy art critiques commodification of Basquiat by commodifying him
Banksy exhibition Bethlehem
Art & PhotographyBethlehem residents stage a pop-up exhibition in tribute to Banksy
Banksy, Mediterranean sea view 2017 (2017)
Art & PhotographyBanksy donates refugee crisis paintings to raise funds for a hospital
Banksy coronavirus-themed artwork 2
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s coronavirus-themed tube artworks have already been removed by TfL
Banksy coronavirus-themed artwork
Art & PhotographyBanksy hits the London Underground to paint new coronavirus-themed artworks
Banksy, Bataclan mural
Art & PhotographySuspects have been arrested for the theft of Banksy’s Bataclan mural
Louis Theroux met Banksy in 2001
Life & CultureLouis Theroux met pre-fame Banksy at a football match in 2001
Banksy Bristol statue
Art & PhotographyBanksy shares ideas for replacing Bristol’s toppled slave trader statue
Banksy anti-racism artwork
Art & PhotographyBanksy shares a new anti-racism artwork
Game Changer, Banksy
Art & PhotographySomeone tried to steal the artwork Banksy dedicated to the NHS
Banksy, Game Changer
Art & PhotographyBanksy has dedicated a new artwork to the NHS
Screenshot 2020-04-24 at 09.53.10
Art & PhotographyA Banksy mural has been given a coronavirus update
Banksy
Art & PhotographyRats wreak havoc in Banksy’s lockdown artwork
Banksy Valentine's Day Mural
Art & PhotographyBansky is glad that his Valentine’s Day mural was vandalised
A Banksy Valentine’s Day mural has appeared in Bristol
Art & PhotographyBanksy unveils a new mural in Bristol for Valentine’s Day
Banksy, Vote to Love (2018)
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s Brexit-themed artwork is going to auction