Banksy is an England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director of unverified identity. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.
After starting as a freehand graffiti artist in the early-"e;90s, Banksy"e;s first known stenciled mural appeared on an office building in Bristol in 1997. The mural shows a Teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police. By the early 2000s, Banksy"e;s work had appeared on buildings and in galleries around the world, his paintings were selling for upwards of $50,000 to major celebrities, yet his identity was still unknown. Through international fame, a major Banksy documentary, huge art events and shows in major cities, Banksy granted few interviews and kept his real name secret.
For years, journalists, fans and the art community have speculated about Banksy"e;s true identity. In 2008, the Daily Mail conducted an exhaustive investigation into Banksy and found him to be "a former public schoolboy brought up in middle-class suburbia," named Robin Gunningham, though the Very Reputable Publication was unable to confirm it. Later, in 2014, an article in The Guardian described Banksy as, "a young graffitist on the streets of Bristol who went by the name of Robin Banx or Banks (from which Banksy evolved), inspired by the French stencil artist Blek le Rat and his fellow Bristolian 3D (or Robert Del Naja), who went on to form Massive Attack."
Though many have guessed over the years, scientists believe they"e;ve finally discovered Banksy"e;s true identity. By analyzing the locations and frequency of Banksy"e;s work, experts say his name is in fact Robin Gunningham.
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