Banksy (British, b. ca.1974) is one of the most well-known, if mysterious, Graffiti artists working in England today. Banksy, the pseudonym adopted by the artist, heavily guards his privacy; the details of his life largely unknown to the public. He has garnered great fame for his graffiti works, which often combine spray paint and stenciling techniques with commercial, political, and contemporary imagery, infused with ironic social commentary and humor. Often critical of business and corporations, Banksy’s work has been found on the sides of corporate buildings, on billboards, as well as the Israeli West Bank wall.
The unveiling of many of Banksy’s new works often incorporates pranks or performance: he clandestinely added his own works in museums like the Tate Modern in London or the Paris Louvre; opened gallery shows to the public with specially-bred rats running around the gallery space; and once inserted an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner into the Disneyland theme park in California. In October of 2013 he carried out a month long self-proclaimed artist residency, pasting and placing mixed media art works around the streets of New York City, creating a hype and setting a chase with both the public and the authorities.
In addition to his reactionary street art, Banksy has created works for several charities, and consistently opens exhibitions of his work to wide audiences and critical acclaim. He currently lives and works in Bristol, England.