Since arriving on the Bristol underground art scene in the 1990s, Banksy–whose real identity remains a mystery–has been behind some of the most audacious and witty guerilla art around the globe. Getting his start in tagged graffiti, the British artist quickly adopted his signature graphic street art style where he spray paints stencils made digitally beforehand. His recurring subjects–rats, police, children–are often presented in ironic juxtapositions that critique political authority, consumerism, and terrorism. “All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history. They’ve been used to start revolutions and to stop wars,” says Banksy, whose most famous works include paintings on Israel's West Bank barrier wall that imagine an opening to the Palestinian side, and “Rage, Flower Thrower,” a rioter stenciled in black and white whose bomb is replaced by a colorful flower bouquet.
In addition to his distinctive graffiti which has appeared extensively throughout London and Bristol, his stunts include incorporating his own artworks into the collections of major museums such as the Louvre and Tate Modern and selling his canvases, worth tens of thousands of dollars, in New York’s Central Park for $60.