Photographs courtesy of Ashira Siegel
He is the most recognized name in the modern street art scene, yet he has never publicly identified himself. The artist from Bristol, U.K. has worked in the most secretive ways to present his often-satirical campaign on politics, culture, and art itself. With his stencil graffiti stunts, Banksy has made everywhere from post-Katrina New Orleans, to The Tate Gallery, to the barrier between Israel and Palestinian part of his own public street gallery.
The anonymity keeps him one step ahead of the authorities and a mystery to even his biggest fans. Critics, collectors, and celebrities love him, and the anti-hero’s works have gone for half a million dollars at auction. The fact that various internet sources claim to know his identity hasn’t hurt sales one bit.
It turns out he wasn’t available for comment, but you don’t need to talk to Banksy to know he has been in Los Angeles. He held an art show in 2006 at an LA warehouse featuring at the center of attention a live, pink and gold elephant. He also put an inflatable Gitmo prisoner on Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and his website flaunts the evidence in a video.
To see his work in the streets, check out various spots on Beverly Blvd., including the fast-food eating caveman near the New Beverly Cinema. Be sure to check out the two Banksy girls at the Valero gas station nearby.
Photograph Courtesy smallworldpodcast/Flickr