The World's Most Famous Street Artist
Banksy's work heavily stresses on political and social commentary and have been prominently featured on streets and walls of cities throughout the world. He does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti.
His first film, 'Exit Through the Gift Shop', made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie." He bagged a Best Documentary Oscar nomination for the film.
Banksy's name and identity remain unknown, but is believed to be Robin Gunningham, a former resident of Bristol. Speculation also abound that Banksy is a woman, or a team of several artists. Believed to be originally from the Bristol underground scene which often featured collaborations between artists and musicians. Reportedly the stress on secrecy is due to graffiti art being criminal in nature.
Art auctioneers have been known to sell off his street art 'as is' on location and leave the problem of its removal to the winning bidder. Several of his artworks have been defaced, painted over or destroyed - sometimes by competing artists, but more often due to ignorance.
The most recent incident occurred this month when three priceless artworks by were destroyed after a construction workers unknowingly destroyed and replaced a door. The stencils – of rats on the walls of ACDC Lane, painted in 2003, were believed to be the largest single collection of Banksy's work in the city.
Art aficionados often chose to keep quiet about the location of Banksy murals in an attempt to keep them protected and avoid vandalism. However the very nature of his art, being mostly in public places, makes this impossible.