He must be the most hyped modern artist in the UK since Tracey Emin. Banksy's roots are in Bristol and his artwork is found all around the city, on walls, buildings and even boats in the harbour!
Recently due to publicity around some high profile Gallery exhibitions his work has become very collectable, if not controversial! Rumours are that even Tom Cruise has been purchasing his work. Recent works have been sold in Sotheby's for as much as £102,000 for a canvas of his work!
Now £102,000 for a canvas might not be so great compared with the millions that are paid for the works of some artists, but you must admit it's a tidy sum! Well, it must have rang the cash registers for the owners of a house that Banksy had painted a 25ft x 6ft mural on quite early in his 'career'. This is a rare example of his freeform work, he moved into using stencils shortly after this work it's believed. The current owners are proposing to set up a street art gallery in an adjoining derelict print works with the proceeds of the sale.
Apparently they had looked at selling it a few times but decided to reject offers that were made when they found out the buyers wished to cover the work. Maybe they should be public funding for this sort of thing, maybe a blue plaque and a listed building status?
Here's a couple of pics of his other work in Bristol
Courtesy of Visit Bristol
On the side of the Thekla, bristols floating music venue
The Mild Mild West, Cheltenham Road.
For more details of the forthcoming sale and exhibition of his work check out the Red Pepper Gallery in Devon.
Please also check his own website for his comments about the prices his work is going for at auction.
Here's the BBC gallery of Banksy art work snapped by the public in London
My favorite all time Banksy Art has got to be the rat he installed in the natural history museum.
His latest book is definitely worth a look or two