Banksy is the pseudonym of a street artist and activist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces. His artworks are made as a form of cultural criticism, often targeting established social and political agendas with his witty illustrations produced with stencils and spray paint.
Although officially his identity remains unknown, pictures point toward Robin Gunningham, an artist who was born in Bristol in 1973. Gunningham moved to London around 2000, a timeline that correlates with the progression of Banksy's artwork.He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s. Banksy is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art.
In 2015, Banksy opened Dismaland Bemusement Park, a temporary art exhibition that functioned as a theme park. Among the artist's most famous stunts include his shredded painting: When a painting by Banksy was sold at auction for $1.4 million in 2018, a mechanism was triggered to cause the artwork to partially destroy itself, resulting in a new piece titled Love in the Bin (2018).