Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director and painter, 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. Simon Hattenstone from Guardian Unlimited is one of the very few people to have interviewed him face-to-face. Hattenstone describes him as "a cross of Jimmy Nail and British rapper Mike Skinner" and "a 28 year old male who showed up wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a silver tooth, silver chain, and one silver earring".
Banksy, despite not calling himself an artist, has been considered by some as talented in that respect; he uses his original street art form, often in combination with a distinctive stencilling technique, to promote alternative aspects of politics from those promoted by the mainstream media. Banksy is both the most notorious and anonymous artist of our time. In less than a decade, Banksy has transcended his graffiti roots to become the most important artist of our generation.
Originally a classic graffiti artist, Banksy turned to his trademark stencil style after hiding from the police under a truck for an hour to avoid arrest. Noticing the stencilled plate on the bottom of the fuel tank, Banksy realised stencilling could cut his painting time in half. The rest is history.
Many Banksy art images have moved off public walls and into private collections in the form of limited edition prints. These often generate large sums at auction houses such as Bonhams and Christies. Even the Banksy works that have remained on walls have been sold at auction, with some being dismantled. A house in Bristol with Banksy art work on the outside was also sold as ‘a work of art with a house attached’ through an estate agent