Banksy is 48 years old, a look back at the career of the world’s most fashionable street artist

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nature of the support: in the middle of the canvases, live painted animals were frolicking, cows whose spots had been replaced by arrows or spirals, and pigs were tagged with the blue-checked pattern of British police cars.



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Une publication partagée par Banksy (@banksy)


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 par l’art et la mode, Hélène s’oriente vers une école de stylisme: l’Atelier Chardon-Savard. Elle complète ensuite sa formation par un MBA en Marketing à l’ISG. Elle a écrit pour le magazine Do it in Paris et se spécialise en rédaction d’articles concernant le luxe, l’art et la mode au sein de Luxus +.


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