Two minutes later they arrive in the pub. Bansky is 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. He asks if he can nab a cigarette and orders a pint of Guinness. There is something on his mind. He tells me how he noticed that a piece of his graffiti has been papered over by a poster advertising Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men – a bestselling book about how to subvert the system. “So Michael Moore was the corporate who fucked me over and ruined my picture. It’s a weird world, a sick world.” But he seems to quite like the idea.
It is easy to become addicted to his work. Since spotting my first few Banksies, I have been desperately seeking out more. When I do come across them, surreptitiously peeping out of an alley or boldy emblazoned on a wall, I find it hard to contain myself. They feel personal, as if they are just for me, and they feel public as if they are a gift for everyone. They make me smile and feel optimistic about the possibilities of shared dreams and common ownership.
Banksy has branched out recently – he designed the cover of the Blur album, Think Tank, and tomorrow is the opening night of Turf War, his first gallery show in Britain. He is somehow managing to straddle the commercial, artistic and street worlds.
Banksy is due any minute. The only trouble is I don’t know what he looks like. Nobody here seems to know what he looks like. But they all know him. That is, they know of him. That is, if he is a he. The barman in the pub in Shoreditch, a trendy part of London with a whiff of the old East End, flushes when I mention Banksy and talks in a hushed voice. “Yes, I know Bansky. Well I used to, sort of. See, I’m from Bristol, and I was also involved in graffiti.”
Banksy started doing graffiti when he was a miserable 14-year-old schoolboy. School never made sense to him – he had problems, was expelled, did some time in prison for petty crime, but he doesn’t want to go into details.
Here is Hattenstone’s article in full… What do you think? Did Hattenstone interview the ‘real’ Banksy, or was he simply fooled, as so many people have been since?
Armed with ink and imagination, a Vancouver street artist has stenciled a series of street art compositions in and around his urban surroundings. Each image shares a relationship to a particular aspect of contemporary culture, specifically social media and its connection to a generation of children.
Throughout his public works, the artist known as imagines kids interacting with facebook and twitter, toying with their smartphones, writing in hashtags, whining about instagram notifications and complaining about auto-correct.
With a banksy-esque quality — a simple use of color and graphics marked by the interplay between positive and negative space — iHeart tells the story of a social-media-obsessed culture, and the evident effect it will have on the growing youth.
Some of them make no sense at all and some of them are quite disturbing, but that keeps up interested.
Banksy is a UK born street stencil graffiti artist.
Banksy, born in the early 1974 in Yate, South Gloucestershire is the well-known pseudonym of a British graffiti artist. His early work was first showcased during Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s. Banksy's work generated a new-found global interest in street art. While his work can be found all over the world, most are located in Bristol, London and New York City. The HBO documentary "Banksy Does New York" released Oct. 31, 2014 showcases . In late January 2011, his film work "Exit Through The Gift shop" was nominated for 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
As the art world wondered whether the reclusive graffiti artist Banksy was finally caught on camera, TIME looks back upon some of his greatest hits
One of Banksy’s greatest tricks in this selfie-obsessed, celebrity-hungry world, is that of anonymity. By remaining anonymous, Banksy takes the focus away from the artist or the source and puts the focus on the statement and the work. There is a reason that Banksy is the most infamous artist working today; Banksy represents an idea that many people identify with… and delivers it in a way that no man or woman has done so before.