“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Banksy
Before I traveled to London I heard about the (in)famous Banksy, a British graffiti artist with an international following, known for stenciling satirical and somewhat controversial street art on walls, buildings, bridges, tunnels – or any city surface he comes across. His illusive character is due to the fact that he does not sell any of his art or reproductions of it, and he is always in disguise; wearing a mask and dark clothing.
Once I learned a little bit more, I became very curious as to who this practically invisible Banksy character really was. A college professor of mine told me about a documentary called Exit Through the Gift Shop. The story is about a French amateur film maker who attempts to find Banksy, succeeds, but then Banksy slyly turns the gaze back to the later corrupt filmmaker. The film includes some other famous graffiti artists including Invader and Shepard Fairey. Banksy is interviewed in the documentary but had a distorted voice.
Because I found the mysteriousness of this artist so fascinating, I was on a mission to find his pieces when I went to London . I looked high and low and researched online to find the locations so I could visit them. A lot of his art causes anger in communities and is often painted over or removed for auction and sold for thousands of dollars. Others, like two of the three I came across below, have been preserved.
Over the past few years there has been an increase in Banksy sightings and stunts of people claiming they are Bansky. If interested, look over the following articles. Maybe you’ll become intrigued or somewhat obsessed (like me).