The mystery remains around the street artist Banksy, famous for his committed stencils, distilled around the world. Today, we celebrate his birthday with a portrait.
We know Banksy for being a street artist, ultra bankable and above all, very mysterious. Nobody knows his face or his sex. The artist himself has forged his own myth and has been cultivating a mystery for twenty years where nothing is left to chance.
Journalists and fans are on the lookout for the slightest clue and one of the latest revelations, which made the front page of the Guardian website, came from the archives of the ITV London channel. It was 2003 and an exhibition by a young street artist caused a controversy in London because of the unusual nature of the support: in the middle of the canvases, live painted animals were frolicking, cows whose spots had been replaced by arrows or spirals, and pigs were tagged with the blue-checked pattern of British police cars.
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In the footage shot at the time, a man, his face partially hidden by a T-shirt, can be seen telling the reporter that he was “disguised because you can’t be a graffiti artist and a public figure, the two things don’t go well together“. Was it him? No one could say for sure.
With the exhibition in the City of Angels, the English artist goes from being an unknown graffiti artist to a star, while still protecting his anonymity. The concept is rare enough to arouse curiosity. A real communication stunt that pays off.
Since 1993, his work has shone on every continent: Stencils, paintings, sculptures, hijacking of urban objects or classic works, installations … Banksy plays the usurpers and provocateurs, challenging citizens on the human condition, all with a good dose of humor and second degree.
In 2005, he managed to enter the biggest museums in the world, at MoMa, Tate Britain or the Louvre, to display his own works. Some of them will remain on display for several days before they are discovered. In 2006, he placed a giant sculpture in the heart of London’s Soho district, representing a red telephone booth, split by a pickaxe and seemingly bleeding.
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Committed, Banksy denounces: the drawing of a Vietnamese woman irradiated with napalm holding hands with Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald is a criticism of the consumer society. Considered as an anti-militarist and anti-capitalist, Banksy tries to stay away from the system while contributing, despite himself. Indeed, since 2012, some of his stencil works on London walls have been snatched up and sold at auction across the Atlantic, sometimes for between $900,000 and over $1.1 million.
“Banksy continues to push boundaries and challenge society’s morals with his ironic, iconic and irreverent style. His identity is only a small fraction of the mystery, for his work is truly the metaphorical iceberg that penetrates deep into the heart of humanity, whose surface his work only scratches,” say the organizers of the “Building castles in the sky” exhibition, Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani. This exhibition is being held this summer and until September 5 in New York and includes no less than 120 original works by the artist.
Featured photo : © Trusted Reviews
Passionnée depuis son plus jeune âge par l’art et la mode, Hélène s’oriente vers une école de stylisme, l’Atelier Chardon-Savard à Paris, avec une option Communication. Afin d’ajouter des cordes à son arc, elle décide de compléter sa formation par un MBA en Management du Luxe et Marketing Expérientiel à l’Institut Supérieur de Gestion à Paris dont elle sort diplômée en 2020. Elle a notamment écrit des articles lifestyle et beauté pour le magazine Do it in Paris et se spécialise en rédaction d’articles concernant le luxe, l’art et la mode au sein du magazine Luxus Plus.********** [EN] Passionate about art and fashion from a young age, Hélène went to a fashion design school, Atelier Chardon-Savard in Paris, with a Communication option. In order to add more strings to her bow, she decided to complete her education with an MBA in Luxury Management and Experiential Marketing at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Paris from which she graduated in 2020. She has written lifestyle and beauty articles for Do it in Paris magazine and specializes in writing articles about luxury, art and fashion for Luxus Plus magazine.