Ask any passerby for one graffiti artist and chances are he or she will mention Banksy. The satirical works of this anonymous artist are world famous, but why? In this blog post we try to discover why he appeals to the imagination. But let's start at the beginning: who is Banksy actually?
To who Banksy exactly, it remains guesswork. We know he is from Bristol and according to author Tristan Manco he trained as a butcher. In the late eighties he became active in the graffiti scene, which maintained close ties with other artists. It was not long before Banksy conquered other cities in Britain. His murals have also been found in Spain, Italy, the US, Palestine, Mali and Australia.
In the movie Exit Through The Gift Shop he is followed in the run-up to an exhibition in Los Angeles, but the viewer doesn't know who Banksy really is. Some film critics even believe that the entire documentary was made to create confusion about Banksy's identity. Whether or not that's the case, we still don't know who's behind his pseudonym.
Let's not wrap it up: Of course, some of Banksy's popularity is devoted to the mystery of his identity. We are curious creatures, but that of course does not fully explain his celebrity. His stairs against holy houses, the quality of being street-art stencils and the fact that celebrities such as Cristina Angelina and 'Brangelina' have bought his works also contribute to his fame.
Where other artists choose to promote themselves pressure, let Banksy speak his art for himself. Perhaps more artists should follow this approach. In any case, it seems to work fine for Banksy!