Whatever you choose to think of as fine art, or merely vandalism there's no doubting the talent of the street artist know as Banksy. His works - irrespective of whether they are made on public buildings or displayed in galleries - are filled with imagery twisted into metaphors that go across all language barriers. They are often bright and humorous but can also contain political undertones hinting at his roots as an "outsider" artist. But who is Banksy? His true identity remains a mystery, his unwillingness to be interviewed or even reveal his name has fuelled interest since he appeared on the street graffiti scene in Bristol in the early 90s.
His graffiti art is unquestionably the handiwork of a talented individual, and every new piece that appears is heralded as a masterpiece. You can now buy Banksy canvas art all over the globe as photos of his works quickly spread with his fame. Some fans profess to know the artist’s genuine identity and despite apparently painting a self-portrait on a wall in London and being on closed circuit tv a few times the mystery remains.
His more recent works have pushed the boundaries - in June 2010 a street painting appeared in Ashton Gate of Jesus being crucified wearing a Bristol City football shirt. Near the bottom right of the graffiti is the word "religion". Although there is no Banksy signature on the piece, the owner of the pub thinks there are several signs possibly pointing to Bristol's world renowned street artist. Experts point to the consistency of colour and graphic style similar to the Christ With Shopping Bags he made previously. The credentials of most Banksy wall art have never been in doubt but like any successful artist imitators popped up, copying his distinctive style.
Graffiti is by no means a modern phenomenon though - archaeologists working on ancient Roman buildings have discovered countless examples of humorous artwork and writing on walls. In fact funny, insulting, and completely coarse behavior can be found in nearly every part of the Roman world. In the remains of Pompeii they were delighted to find Roman graffiti faultlessly preserved in the ash. Vulgar messages as “I slept with the barmaid” and “Celadus makes the women scream!” we accomanpied by the ever-popular and imaginative line: “Lucius painted this”. Truly the Romans gave us everything, and remained anonymous for hundreds of years!
Canvas Art Print