Author: Imogen Aldridge

Artist Feature: Banksy

Elusive and provocative are probably the best words to describe Banksy’s work. The UK-based street artist has remained anonymous throughout his decades-long career. However, his unique stencilling technique and dark yet humorous subject matters make his art effortlessly recognisable.

Part of the allure of Banksy is the speculation over his true identity. His name has never been made public knowledge, although there are numerous theories. As well as creating subversive street murals that typically have a political or social message, he’s also been involved with several performance art pieces and worked as a film director.

Bristol beginnings

Although not much at all is really known about Banksy, it is widely thought that he first emerged on the graffiti art scene in Bristol. In fact, you’ll spot 11 Banksy artworks scattered around the city, including the comical Well Hung Lover on Frogmore Street which depicts a naked man hanging out of a window while his lover and her partner look on.

Banksy was likely part of the Bristol underground scene during the late 1980s. The movement had strong links to music, with many of its artists – including Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack – creating various album artworks for bands. Banksy is also rumoured to have collaborated with several graffiti artists in the city.

Wondering where he got the idea of stencilling his graffiti instead of drawing it freehand? Supposedly, he nearly got caught ‘vandalising’ a public building by the police during his youth, so decided to come up with a faster way of creating street art.

Towards the end of the 2000s, it’s believed Banksy moved to London as more and more of his works began to spring up around the UK capital. In more recent years, his street art has been spotted on buildings all across the world, with many pieces popping up in response to certain world events.

Graffiti art 

Banksy’s iconic stencilled graffiti is celebrated across the globe for its clever wit and often thought-provoking subject matters. His past works have addressed issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and global poverty.  

Some of his most famous pieces have appeared overnight in both busy city locations and some very unlikely destinations. Most recently, his work has been seen on a tiny house in a model village in Norfolk, next to beaches in East Anglia and even on the side of Reading Prison.

When it comes to Banksy’s best-known works, it would be impossible not to mention Balloon Girl. The image of a young girl reaching out towards a heart-shaped balloon is widely thought to be either a message of hope or symbolic of her losing her innocence. It forms part of a series of stencilled murals that Banksy has repeated in various locations over the years.

In 2018, a framed copy of Balloon Girl sold for over £1 million at auction. Unbeknown to the buyer, the frame had been fitted with a shredding device which was activated as soon as the hammer came down. The artwork was magnificently destroyed in front of an audience, becoming a piece of experimental performance art.

It’s not always obvious if a piece is a genuine Banksy or an imposter imitating his style. Because of this, Banksy always claims the work for his own via his social media pages or Pest Control – the official authenticating body for his art.

Performance Art

It’s not just buildings that have been given the Banksy stamp. The artist is also well-known for creating immersive art experiences which sometimes poke fun at certain elements of pop culture. Other times, they have been in response to a specific event – either global, national or personal.

In 2015, Banksy opened a theme park-style exhibit in Weston-Super-Mare titled Dismaland. The temporary show put a sinister twist on the popular Disneyland theme parks with its range of eerie sculptures and kooky memorabilia created by both Banksy and 58 other artists. It opened for just five weeks before the structures were donated – at Banksy’s request – to the refugee camps in Calais.

Elsewhere, Banksy famously opened up a shop in Croydon called GrossDomesticProduct. It was in response to a trademark dispute he had with a greeting card company. Within it, he sold a collection of alternative ‘homeware’ items, from a baby mobile made up of CCTV cameras to purposefully impractical handbags crafted from hollowed-out bricks.

Banksy Prints at Art Republic

Many of Banksy’s most famous street murals have been adapted into posters and prints, allowing the public to have a little piece of his genius in their own home. At Art Republic, we stock a wide range of innovative options from this truly dynamic and exciting UK artist. Discover our Banksy prints and our full range of street artwork today.


Wobbly by Erwin Wurm
Wobbly £7,650
Ivy Mike by Robert Longo
Ivy Mike £14,280

Robert Longo


Limited edition of 15

Forest of Doxa by Robert Longo
Balloon Animals I Matching Set by Jeff Koons
Balloon Animals I Matching Set £45,900

Jeff Koons


Limited edition of 999

Diamond (Blue) by Jeff Koons
"Coca Cola" Glass Vase £4,250

Ai Weiwei


Limited edition of 300

Mel Ferrer's Nightmare (Grey With Flowers) by Pure Evil
Mel Ferrer's Nightmare (Grey With Flowers) £1,500

Pure Evil


Limited edition of AP

The Wild Swim from £120

Oli Mumby

Various sizes

Off You Pop by Louise Nordh
Off You Pop £95

Louise Nordh

35 x 35cm

Limited edition of 30

Moving Forms by Mr Penfold
Moving Forms £165

Mr Penfold

26 x 30cm

Limited edition of 15

Inside Mickey's Heart from £150

Angel London

Various sizes

Navy Boy £175

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 25

I Will Bite from £135

Mathilda Mai

Various sizes

Italian Summer by SODA
Italian Summer £125


42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 40

Let's Get It On £595

Linda Charles

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 45

Wash the Blues Away by Charlie Haydn Taylor
Wash the Blues Away from £150

Charlie Haydn Taylor

Various sizes

Inhale £175

Joe Webb

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 30

Fresh £200

Hannah Adamaszek

60 x 75.5cm

Limited edition of 15

Scratchin' Cats (Blue) £150

The Cameron Twins

33 x 36cm

Limited edition of 20

Fast Dog £95

Gavin Dobson

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 100

In The Sky With Stars £195

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

70 x 100cm

Limited edition of 16

Seascape W £300

Newton Blades

50 x 30cm

Limited edition of 100