genius of the week
Banksy (born 1975) is a graffiti artist from Bristol, UK, whose artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world. Despite this he carefully manages to keep his real name from the mainstream media. However, many newspapers assert that his real name is Robert or Robin Banks.
Due to his shroud of secrecy surrounding his real identity and his subversive character; Banksy has achieved somewhat of a cult following from some of the younger age group within the stencilling community.
In 2004 the Space Hijackers gave out spoof vouchers outside a Banksy exhibition to highlight the artist's ironic use of anti-capitalist and protest imagery while doing work for corporations and art galleries.
Another of Banksy's tricks involved hanging a piece of his own Art in London's Tate Modern, and as of March 2005, the New York Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History. In May 2005 Bansky's version of primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife while pushing a shopping cart was found hanging in the British Museum.
On August 4, 2005 it was reported that Banksy had painted 9 images on the Palestinian side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a ladder up and over the wall and an image of children digging a hole through the wall.
Banksy has also self-published several books that contain photos of his work in various countries as well as some of his canvas work and exhibitions, accompanied by his own subversive and often witty writings. His first book, published in black and white, is Banging your head against a brick wall followed by the full color Existencilism. In 2004 he published his third book, Cut it Out.