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23 Key Facts You Need To Know About Banksy

The low-down on the elusive Bristol artist.

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5. He's from Bristol and his iconic stencil style was inspired by a fellow Bristolian.


Banksy says he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of Massive Attack.

6. Though he initially drew freehand, he began stencilling seriously in 2001. This piece is from 2002.


Banksy began his career in the early 90s, as one of Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew.

7. He has had 6 exhibitions since 2002.


Existencilism, 2002, LA. Turf War, 2003, London. Barely Legal, LA, 2006. Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill, 2008, New York. The Cans Festival, 2008 London. Banksy vs Bristol Museum, 2009, Bristol.

10. Sometimes he edits his own paintings.

For example, he repainted "Ozone Angel" in tribute to a fellow UK graffiti artist who was hit by a train. He left a note on his website explaining: "The last time I hit this spot I painted a crap picture of two men in banana costumes waving hand guns. A few weeks later a writer called Ozone completely dogged it and then wrote 'If it's better next time I'll leave it' in the bottom corner. When we lost Ozone we lost a fearless graffiti writer and as it turns out a pretty perceptive art critic. Ozone – rest in peace."

11. He visited New Orleans in August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.


But some of the pieces are now gone. Banksy told Time Out: "In New Orleans I painted on a dilapidated shop in a street littered with abandoned cars and rotting mattresses, then two hours later the piece was gone. It turned out I'd picked the side of a crack house and the proprietor didn't like the attention."

14. He was nominated for an Oscar for his 2010 documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.


Banksy released a statement about the nomination saying: "This is a big surprise… I don't agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me."

16. He designed idents for Nickelodeon in 2005.

View this video on YouTube

18. Simon Hattenstone from The Guardian interviewed Banksy face to face in 2003.

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He described him as: "white, 28, scruffy casual - jeans, T-shirt, a silver tooth, silver chain and silver earring. He looks like a cross between Jimmy Nail and Mike Skinner of the Streets"

19. He's conflicted about his success.

Getty / Via

Banksy told the Village Voice, "There's no way round it - commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist.We're not supposed to be embraced in that way. When you look at how society rewards so many of the wrong people, it's hard not to view financial reimbursement as a badge of self-serving mediocrity."

20. He is planning a return to sculpture.

Getty / Via

Banksy told the Village Voice, that he has "been learning to make big sculptures out of clay—partly because it's a challenge and partly because after a year in an editing studio I wanted to do something standing up."

22. He is in New York for the month of October, as part of his new show Better Out Than In.

23. He aims to create a art work every day for the duration of the month. Like this.

Beautiful new Banksy pays tribute to the Twin Towers. h/t @michaelhayes

Adrian Carrasquillo


Beautiful new Banksy pays tribute to the Twin Towers. h/t @michaelhayes

/ Via

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