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.

William Gannon hunting for Banksy
Art & Photography‘I am not Banksy’: the town councillor hunting Banksy to clear his own name
Banksy, Season’s Greetings (2018)
Art & PhotographyA Banksy fan has been sentenced for trying to destroy a £500,000 artwork
Banksy Colston Four souvenir shirt
Art & PhotographyBanksy releases ‘souvenir shirts’ to raise funds for the Colston Four
Banksy, Create Escape still
Art & PhotographyBanksy pledges £10 million to help transform Reading prison
Banksy
Banksy, Love is in the Bin (2018)
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s self-destructing artwork breaks records in £18.6 million sale
20 Years of Stop the War
Art & PhotographyMarking 20 years of Stop the War with Banksy, Vivienne Westwood, and more
Banksy, Love is in the Bin (2018)
Art & PhotographyThat shredded Banksy artwork is returning to auction at 4 times the price
A recreation of Banksy’s lockdown artwork
Art & PhotographyA Banksy show is called out for not containing enough real Banksys
Banksy’s Great British Spraycation (2021)
Art & PhotographyBanksy shares a video of his ‘Great British Spraycation’ by the sea
Banksy
Art & Photography‘Go big or go home’: is Banksy in Great Yarmouth?
Banksy, Laugh Now But One Day We'll Be In Charge (2002)
Art & PhotographyBanksy loses trademark battle after claiming ‘copyright is for losers’
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 on fire, Morons (White)
Science & TechA $95K Banksy artwork has been set on fire and turned into an NFT
Banksy coronavirus-themed artwork in Bristol
Art & PhotographyAn elderly woman sneezes out her dentures in Banksy’s new COVID-themed work
GANksy’s ‘00011111: Confession’
Art & PhotographyAn AI bot has been taught to create surreal, Banksy-esque artworks
Banksy, Show Me The Monet
Art & PhotographyBanksy’s parody of a Monet painting sells for £7.5m at auction
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