. "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge" - Picasso
Going, going, gone...
. I got a letter from Zehra Doğan in Diyarbakır Prison, Turkey
. I've made a flag for the big match…
. Fire door, Bataclan
. Staircase, Montmartre
. I had planned to paint this on a wall, but ended up thinking it was more of a cartoon. So here it is - as a cartoon.
The last time I hit this spot I painted a crap picture of two men in banana costumes waving hand guns. A few weeks later a writer called Ozone completely dogged it and then wrote "If it's better next time I'll leave it" in the bottom corner. When we lost Ozone we lost a fearless graffiti writer and as it turns out a pretty perceptive art critic. Ozone – rest in peace.
Banksy has also been long criticised for copying the work of Blek le Rat, who created the life-sized stencil technique in early 1980s Paris and used it to express a similar combination of political commentary and humorous imagery. Blek has praised Banksy for his contribution to urban art, but said in an interview for the documentary Graffiti Wars that some of Banksy's more derivative work makes him "angry", saying that "It's difficult to find a technique and style in art so when you have a style and you see someone else is taking it and reproducing it, you don't like that."
In May his Parachuting Rat, painted in Melbourne in the late 1990s, was accidentally destroyed by plumbers installing new pipes.
On 19 June 2002, Banksy's first Los Angeles exhibition debuted at 33⁄3 Gallery, a tiny Silver Lake venue owned by Frank Sosa. The exhibition, entitled Existencilism, was curated by 33⁄3 Gallery, Malathion LA's Chris Vargas, Funk Lazy Promotions' Grace Jehan, and B+.
Banksy, along with Shepard Fairey, Dmote and others created work at a warehouse exhibition in Alexandria, Sydney for Semi-Permanent in 2003. Approximately 1,500 people attended.
In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes replacing the picture of the Queen's head with Diana, Princess of Wales's head and changing the text "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England". Someone threw a large wad of these into a crowd at Notting Hill Carnival that year, which some recipients then tried to spend in local shops. These notes were also given with invitations to a Santa's Ghetto exhibition by Pictures on Walls. The individual notes have since been selling on eBay for about £200 each. A wad of the notes were also thrown over a fence and into the crowd near the NME signing tent at the Reading Festival. A limited run of 50 signed posters containing ten uncut notes were also produced and sold by Pictures on Walls for £100 each to commemorate the death of Princess Diana. One of these sold in October 2007 at Bonhams auction house in London for £24,000.
Random House published Wall and Piece in 2005. It contains a combination of images from their three previous books, as well as some new material. The book was a best seller in the arts category for several years after its release.
After Christina Aguilera bought an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two prints for £25,000, on 19 October 2006, a set of Kate Moss paintings sold in Sotheby's London for £50,400, setting an auction record for Banksy's work. The six silk-screen prints, featuring the model painted in the style of Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe pictures, sold for five times their estimated value. Their stencil of a green Mona Lisa with real paint dripping from her eyes sold for £57,600 at the same auction. In December, Journalist Max Foster coined the phrase, "the Banksy effect", to illustrate how interest in other street artists was growing on the back of Banksy's success.
On 27 April 2007, a new record high for the sale of Banksy's work was set with the auction of the work Space Girl and Bird fetching £288,000 (US$576,000) around 20 times the estimate at Bonhams of London. On 21 May 2007 Banksy gained the award for Art's Greatest living Briton. Banksy, as expected, did not turn up to collect his award and continued with his anonymous status. On 4 June 2007, it was reported that Banksy's The Drinker had been stolen. In October 2007, most of his works offered for sale at Bonhams auction house in London sold for more than twice their reserve price.
In 2008, in Melbourne, paint was poured over a stencil of an old-fashioned diver wearing a trench coat. In April 2010, the Melbourne City Council reported that they had inadvertently ordered private contractors to paint over a rat descending in a parachute adorning the wall of an old council building behind the Forum Theatre.
In December 2009, Banksy marked the end of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference by painting four murals on global warming. One included the phrase, "I don't believe in global warming;" the words were submerged in water. A feud and graffiti war between Banksy and King Robbo broke out when Banksy allegedly painted over one of Robbo's tags. The feud has led to many of Banksy's works being altered by graffiti Writers.
Many works that make up the Better Out Than In series in New York City have been defaced, some just hours after the piece was unveiled. At least one defacement was identified as done by a competing Artist, OMAR NYC, who spray-painted over Banksy's red mylar balloon piece in Red Hook. OMAR NYC also defaced some of Banksy's work in May 2010.
In May 2011 Banksy released a lithographic print which showed a smoking petrol bomb contained in a 'Tesco Value' bottle. This followed a long running campaign by locals against the opening of a Tesco Express supermarket in Banksy's home city of Bristol. Violent clashes had taken place between police and demonstrators in the Stokes Croft area. Banksy produced the poster ostensibly to raise money for local groups in the Stokes Croft area and to raise money for the legal defence of those arrested during the riots. The posters were sold exclusively at the Bristol Anarchists Bookfair in Stokes Croft for £5 each.
In July, prior to the 2012 Olympic Games Banksy posted photographs of paintings with an Olympic theme on his website but did not disclose their location.
Some have criticised the "obviousness" of Banksy's work, and accused it of being "anarchy-lite" geared towards a middle class "hipster" audience. Much of this criticism came forward during his series of works in New York in 2013. Many New York street artists, such as TrustoCorp, criticised Banksy, and much of his work was defaced.
As of 2014, Banksy was regarded as a British cultural icon, with young adults from abroad naming the Artist among a group of people that they most associated with UK culture, which included william Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, J. K. Rowling, Elton John and Adele.
In August 2016, Scottish Journalist Craig Williams published an investigative piece in which he connected the timing of Banksy's murals with the touring schedule of the trip hop band Massive Attack. Williams put forward the suggestion that Banksy's work could be the work of a collective, and that Banksy himself may be Massive Attack's frontman, Robert Del Naja. Del Naja had been a graffiti Artist during the 1980s prior to forming the band and had previously been identified as a personal friend of Banksy.
During the United Kingdom general election, 2017, Banksy offered voters a free print if they cast a ballot against the Conservative candidates standing in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury, Kingswood and Filton constituencies. According to a note posted on Banksy's website, an emailed photo of a completed ballot paper showing it marked for a candidate other than the Conservative candidate would result in the voter being mailed a limited edition piece of Banksy art. On June 5, 2017, the Avon and Somerset Constabulary announced it had opened an investigation into Banksy for the suspected corrupt practice of bribery, and the following day Banksy withdrew the offer stating "I have been warned by the Electoral Commission that the free print offer will invalidate the election result. So I regret to announce that this ill-conceived and legally dubious promotion has now been cancelled."