Graffiti is an art form that is often subversive, rebellious and politically provocative and no one does it better than the mysterious Bristol born graffiti artist Banksy.
Well known for his bar-codes, rats, little girls with balloons and flower throwing rioters, Banksy also seems to have a strange fascination with robots, spawning some excellent pieces of urban robot artwork which are both thought provoking and visually stunning.
Who is Banksy?
Banksy is an anarchic British graffiti artist, he’s called Britain’s ‘most wanted artist’ and I’m sure he loves the title. Banksy has been creating street art over twenty years or so now and although he has become well known for his witty and often subversive work, the identity of this guerrilla artist remains a closely guarded secret and subject to much speculation.
Banksy’s incredible style of stencilled graffiti took the world by storm and often feature striking and comic images that are sometimes combined with anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment slogans. Whenever a new urban masterpiece goes on display, hushed voices whisper “could it be Banksy?”
Banksy, who has been compared to the Parisian graffiti artist Blek le Rat, will probably go down in history as one of the greatest graffiti artists of all time. He has spawned thousands of imitators and also thousands of really cool t-shirt designs and some revolutionary robot images.
Recently, Banksy’s night raids with a spray can have become more upmarket and he now has regular gallery shows and his rather posh coffee table book ‘Wall and Piece‘ has hit the book shelves with a vengeance.
Banksy Girl and ATM Cash Machine Robot
We are all probably aware that the big banks are directly responsible for the untold suffering of millions of ordinary hardworking people around the world. Their greed and lack of compassion has repeatedly plunged entire nations into recession, while greedy bankers continue to award themselves obscenely huge bonuses.
In 2007 Banksy fought back, depicting the banks as the heartless, cruel machines they are, the painting is located in Rosebery Avenue, London and shows the harrowing image of a little girl being dragged into an ATM cash machine by a gigantic robotic arm.
According to local residents, the machine also spewed forth a large number of ‘Di Faced Tenners’, the unofficial currency of the Bank of Banksy.
Banksy Robot Boxhead Boy
The stencil of a small boy drawing a simplistic robot around a ventilation unit, appeared on the side of the Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay, sometime around October 2010.
When the owners of the hotel eventually realised it was a Banksy original, it was swiftly covered in protective perspex but unfortunately too late to prevent the little lad pretending to be a robot from being erased with paint stripper by local vandals.
This act of mindless destruction deprived the world of a masterpiece but gave the hotel owners a potential windfall, as it was estimated that the painting had added a staggering £150,000 to the hotel’s sale value.
Banksy Coney Island Tagging Robot
The most recent Banksy robot and one of our favourites, is the Coney Island Tagging Robot, situated on the wall of a former convenience store, which was unfortunately devastated by the destructive force of hurricane Sandy.
The piece was produced during Banksy’s month long “Better Out Than In” tour and depicts a rather whimsical looking robot spraying an ominous looking bar-code onto the wall, the number of the bar-code reads as 13274125, which is the DNA code for homo sapiens, creepy or what?