Banksy is a pseudonym of a British graffiti artist .
He is believed to be a native of Yate, South Gloucestershire, near Bristol and to have been born in 1974, but his identity is unknown. According to Tristan Manco, Banksy "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s."
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.
Banksy's first film, Exit Through The Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie", made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released in the UK on March 5. http://www.youtube.com/user/banksyfilm#p/a/u/0/GTlm6dU2xHk
Banksy started as a freehand graffiti artist 1992–1994 .
He was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene.
From the start he used stencils as elements of his freehand pieces, too. By 2000 he had turned to the art of stenciling after realizing how much less time it took to complete a piece. He claims he changed to stenciling whilst he was hiding from the police under a train carriage, when he noticed the stenciled serial number and by employing this technique, he soon became more widely noticed for his art around Bristol and London.
Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects include rats, monkeys, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.
In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes substituting the picture of the Queen's head with Princess Diana's head and changing the text "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England." Someone threw a large wad of these into a crowd at Notting Hill Carnival that year, which some recipients then tried to spend in local shops.
At Bristol Zoo, he left the message 'I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.' in the elephant enclosure.
In May 2005 Banksy's version of a primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife whilst pushing a shopping trolley was hung in gallery 49 of the British Museum, London. Upon discovery, they added it to their permanent collection.
In April 2006, Banksy created a sculpture based on a crumpled red phone box with a pickaxe in its side, apparently bleeding, and placed it in a street in Soho, London. It was later removed by Westminster Council. BT released a press release, which said: "This is a stunning visual comment on BT's transformation from an old-fashioned telecommunications company into a modern communications services provider."
In June 2006, Banksy created an image of a naked man hanging out of a bedroom window on a wall visible from Park Street in central Bristol. The image sparked some controversy, with the Bristol City Council leaving it up to the public to decide whether it should stay or go. After an internet discussion in which 97% (all but 6 people) supported the stencil, the city council decided it would be left on the building. The mural was later defaced with paint .
In August/September 2006, Banksy replaced up to 500 copies of Paris Hilton's debut CD, Paris, in 48 different UK record stores with his own cover art and remixes by Danger Mouse. Music tracks were given titles such as "Why am I Famous?", "What Have I Done?" and "What Am I For?". Several copies of the CD were purchased by the public before stores were able to remove them, some going on to be sold for as much as £750 on online auction websites such as eBay. The cover art depicted Paris Hilton digitally altered to appear topless. Other pictures feature her with a dog's head replacing her own, and one of her stepping out of a luxury car, edited to include a group of homeless people, which included the caption "90% of success is just showing up".
In September 2006, Banksy dressed an inflatable doll in the manner of a Guantanamo Bay detainment camp prisoner (orange jumpsuit, black hood, and handcuffs) and then placed the figure within the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California.