Banksy, an anonymous England-based graffiti artist, is today’s art world’s biggest mystery. Beginning in Bristol, England in the 1990s and continuing to the present, Banksy’s profound works (ranging in medium from a distinct stenciling technique in spray paint, to satirical sculpture, to running art hotel on the West Wall between Israel and Palestine) drive a global rising art market that, much like Banksy himself, continues to elude the grasp of traditional art establishments.

Banksy’s work functions primarily though imagery and iconography. Some icons, like the monkey wearing a protestor’s sandwich-board sign, girl releasing a heart-shaped balloon, or a soldier throwing a Molotov cocktail of flowers, have become quintessential to Banksy himself. Images are repurposed each time the stencil is used to be applicable to a variety of political, cultural, and moral phenomenons. Themes commonly running through Banksy’s work include anti-war, anti-consumerism, anti-fascism, anarchism, and existentialism — all portrayed through the lens of the human condition, including facets of greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair and absurdity. Banksy’s work is tongue-in-cheek and provocative, as well as self-referencing and performative in nature. Other examples of Banksy’s performative streak include the 2013 Central Park Stunt or the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary Exit through the Gift Shop. Even Banksy’s pop-up exhibitions are in themselves pieces of art, and attended by a global and celebrity audience. “Barely Legal”, held in an industrial warehouse in Los Angeles in 2006, lasted a weekend and featured an elephant painted to match the wallpaper of the room in which it was placed, asking viewers to recognize the “elephant in the room” of poverty. In 2009, “Banksy versus Bristol Museum” opened, unveiling over 100 new paintings and works of sculpture by the artist as well as installations. Dismaland, Banksy’s satire of a theme park, located in Weston-super-Mare in the UK, lasted from August 22nd to September 27th in 2015.

For more information about Banksy or works currently available from this artist, please contact the gallery.

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