Hey, I have a question Banksy-related and I was hoping you could help me out. I fell in love, quite literally, with one of Banksy's pieces, so much that I've been thinking about getting it tattooed. The thing is, I don't know if it'd be correct to do so. What do you think? Is it okay to have an artist's piece tattooed on by another person? Or without them "knowing"?
Well, Banksy tattoos are pretty common so don’t worry too much. Also, Banksy once put up a bunch of collected photos up on his website of people with Banksy tattoos, meaning he is perfectly fine to use him as inspiration.
Has anyone put forth the theory that Banksy is not one person but a group of people?
Yes, although it’s been some time ago since somebody asked me this before. Banksy is one person but he works with a group of assistants (just like a lot of bigger artists, also street artists such as Shepard Fairey).
Do you believe Banksy and Mr. Brainwash are the same person?
No, they are not since Mr. Brainwash is an actual person and artists. You can follow his adventures on Facebook. What is also true is that he got famous AFTER Exit Through The Gift Shop so yeah, maybe all what Banksy is saying in the movie is true afterwards?
What makes you an authority on Banksy. I'm not attacking, just questioning. I see a lot of people ask you questions about authenticity etc.
I don’t think I’m an authority on Banksy per se, although street art is my full time job (I organize art festivals and expositions and have worked with artists such as Aryz, Pixelpancho, Roa, David Walker, Daleast, etc). Besides that I have always been a big Banksy enthusiast ever since I was a teenager (which is +15 years ago) and been running this blog since 5 years or so.
Good and difficult question, it definitely grew steadily and not with a sudden hyped picture on the internet although I must add that internet definitely had a big positive impact on street art in general.
Banksy switched from regular graffiti to stencil graffiti in +/- 1997, and since then his popularity has been grown day by day. I personally believe it’s because of the right message in the right time period since his art is mainly on anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment and apparently a lot of people shared his opinion on those topics in that time.
In 2003 he did an exposition with Shepard Fairey (also a huge name in street art world) and it only attracted 1,500 visitors. Afterwards he produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes and those were quite popular, followed with another exposition called Barely Legal (with the infamous pink painted elephant). These last two interventions got huge press coverage and were picked up by the public very well.