Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist believed to have been born in Bristol in 1974. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls and bridges of cities across the world.
Though Banksy’s identity remains well guarded, he came to notice as a freehand graffiti artist in 1993. Using stencils since 2000 to enhance his speed, he developed a distinctive iconography of highly recognizable images, such as rats and policeman, that communicated his antiauthoritarian message.
Banksy’s work has continued to increase in popularity for many years and also in price. Most resent in late 2018 Girl with Balloon (2006), a canvas version of one of his most popular murals, alarmed onlookers at an auction with Sotheby’s when the work seemingly self-destructed by partly shredding just after selling for a whopping $1.4 million. It was soon later revealed that the piece was to completely shred but the shredder hidden in the frame had malfunctioned. Pest control, Banksy’s authentication bureau, also issued a certificate acknowledging that the destroyed work had become a new piece of art with a new name, Love Is in the Bin.
Banksy has remained committed to the street art, declaring that life in a city in which graffiti was legal would be “.like a party where everyone was invited.” The question is, will Bnaksy reveal his true identity and how will this influence his market in the future.