Banksy (b. 1974 or 75) is an enigmatic and controversial British street artist whose identity is still largely unknown. According to author and designer Tristan Manco, Banksy was trained as a butcher but became interested in graffiti in 1980s, during the aerosol boom. He adopted the stenciling technique around 2000 when he realized how efficient it was in producing an image. Therefore, Banksy’s works are striking and instantly recognizable. He incorporates humor and satire into his images that often tackle the issues of capitalism, politics, culture and ethics. He commented on his process,
I use whatever it takes. Sometimes that just means drawing a moustache on a girl’s face on some billboard, sometimes that means sweating for days over an intricate drawing. Efficiency is the key.
Banksy is active mainly in London and Bristol. He has placed subverted works in major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre and Tate Britain, which caused much controversy. His first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 to much hype and popularity.
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