The artist known as Banksy prefers to conceal his real identity and remain anonymous. What we think we know about him has neither been confirmed nor denied. He is prolific as an artist, author, film-maker and social commentator. Thought to have started as a freehand graffiti artist in the early 1990’s with Bristol’s DryBreadZ (or DBZ) Crew whose work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene.
Thousands of websites, articles, academic papers and books have sprung up on the subject of Banksy. The advantage to his anonymous nature is that interpreters of his work can speak as if they have absolute knowledge, without fear of contradiction. His privacy is protected with the collaboration of those around him, but in an interview with The Guardian in 2003, he said his parents think that he is a painter and decorator.
Banksy grants very few interviews, and those few that he does do are usually done via email or on the phone. The little information that has been gathered about him has come from the handful of books he has written. After one newspaper claimed to have uncovered Banksy’s real identity, his website proclaimed, ‘I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me.’
Sunday, September 16
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