Banksy (1974 – )
Bansky is the most famous and controversial street artist in the world, everyone talks about him, his works are incredibly expensive. Yet we know nothing about him. We do not know his face, his name, or his date of birth. Whether it is to escape the authorities or to help a precise “marketing” strategy, this concealed identity has two main consequences. It boosts his fame (just think of the intriguing media speculations on Bansky’s identity) and, above all, it deters us from talking about him, or rather it prompts us to talk about him only through his work. His activity begins on the walls in Bristol at the beginning of the 1990s and evolves into its definitive form around the end of the decade, with the technique of stencil. Banksy loads his graffiti with irony and cutting satire, combining strong images to subversive and politically incorrect epigrams. Even if mainly performed with stencil, Bansky’s art is not limited to mural painting and it features urban installations, big theme projects (like Dismaland park or the Walled Off Hotel), videos and even documentaries: he received an Oscar nomination for “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, suspended between reality and fiction. Bansky is an all-round artist who has dramatically transformed the world of Street Art with the so-called “Bansky effect”.