You’ve probably heard the name Banksy in passing, maybe even passed by some of his art. But you probably still don’t know who he is, really. Well, you’re not alone. The identity of the artist was a closely guarded secret, but now UK papers are revealing that Banksy is Robin Gunningham, a 34 year-old Bristol, England native.
Banksy is the pseudonym given to the anonymous artist who leaves political, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment artwork in public spaces around the world.
His work seems to crop up overnight and some consider him a vandal or even a trickster as his stunts have included: creating fake British £10 notes, substituting the picture of the Queen’s head with Princess Diana’s head and changing the text from “Bank of England” to “Banksy of England”; leaving the message ‘I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.’ in the elephant area at a zoo in England; and hanging a painting of the likeness of Mona Lisa with a yellow smiley face in the Louvre.
Photographer Steve Lazarides acts as Banksy’s agent, selling the artist’s work out of his gallery Laz inc. in London’s Soho district.