5 Things You Didn’t Know About Street Artist Banksy

We have already featured the legendary Banksy in many of our previous articles (See Best Street Artists and Best Female Street Artists ) but it was high-time that we said a little bit more about him. Since bursting into the street art scene 14 years ago he has become one of the most cherished, and talked about artists of our generations. His style is unmistakable, and although he has received both credit and critiques, his murals and works have definitely become an essential part of urban life. Here are a few interesting facts that you might not have known about Banksy.

1. The Elephant in the Room

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You probably know the saying “The Elephant in the room”, but at one of Banksy’s most successful exhibitions in Los Angeles, there actually was a real, spray-painted elephant in the room. Of course, the Indian elephant had non-toxic paint on him, and represented the world’s poverty. This was actually Banksy’s first exhibition and it was a wild success, even if some animal rights activists strongly protested against his “abuse”. They believed that the animal might be in pain, but they did nothing in the end, since the exhibition was almost over. Strangely enough Banksy consulted with the office of the city attorney and obtained LA’s animal services department approval before pulling off this stun.

2. Sneaking Work into Art Galleries

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Before being accepted into exhibitions and art galleries as a legitimate artists Banksy had the interesting hobby of hanging his works in other ones. Besides spray-painting his work on walls, he also liked to visit different galleries like the Tate Britain one in London, MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum or the British Museum in order to glue his own paintings. In 2003 he glued a oil painting of a country house surrounded with police tape. An accompanying note explained that the house has become numb to crime due to press coverage. The painting hung unnoticed for several hours until finally fell. A few years later he hung a fake cave painting with a caveman pushing a shopping trolley. This artwork also had a sign that said “This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the post-catatonic era”.

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3. He sold Prints Worth 30.000$ for 60$

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Banksy has always been an odd fellow, but this is probably one of the most outrageous thing he did. In October 2013 he gave many of his paintings to an elderly man that had set up stall in Central Park. Banksy’s fans knew that he was in town, so they thought his works would be selling for outrageous prices at some expensive gallery. Little did they know that he was selling original, authentic works at 60$ a pop. The man only made around 500$ that day, and Banksy stated that he won’t be repeating this stunt in the near future.

4. Banksy’s Identity

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It is actually surprising how Banksy managed to conceal his identity, considering the huge success he has had. Even when he gives interviews, he always wears a mask or hood. We don’t even know if he is actually a he, and all he ever said about himself is that he is nothing but an unemployed art school drop-out painter decorator. For all we know, he might be an art collective. Rumors say that Banksy is the alter ego of Damien Hirst, but recent news points the finger to Robin Cunningham, a 39-year-old artists who has been spotted at many of Banksy’s works, right before they were revealed. His team has neither denied or confirmed the statements.

5. The West Bank Barrier

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Similar to the Berlin wall, only three times larger, the West Bank Barrier is a monolithic wall which separates Israel from Palestine. It is without a doubt the most dangerous place that you can see in the Middle East, because people who go to close to it are often shot to death. How Banksy managed to perform his artwork on this site is still a great mystery. His large murals can be seen on both sides of the wall. They are not all political, some show green lush windows while others are more playful: two children escaping over the wall with the help of balloons and ladders.

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20 Examples of Incredible Street Art

It’s amusing how certain people find three lines on canvas art, but the beautiful murals and 3D masterpieces that you can find on the street are considered acts of vandalism. Street art is all about self-expression, opening one’s eyes to the problems of the world, and provoking reactions from people that interact with the urban landscape. The great thing about it is that it can take many forms. From spray paint on buildings, to urban sculptures or installations, the sky is the limit. Here are some of the most fascinating examples of 3D street art.

Recommended Read: Best Street Artists of all Time

1. Yarn Bombing

There are many Yarn bombing examples in parks and large cities, but this is definitely one of the best ones. It has a wonderful rainbow-like spider-web design which is crocheted around a very ordinary tree. The purpose of yarn bombing is to brighten up the world with small details.

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2. Peace Dove

Banksy is known for his controversial works. He even managed to add his murals on the great wall which separates Israel from Palestine. Another excellent example from him is the Peace Dove wearing a bulletproof vest and seems to be in cross hairs of someone with a gun. In other words, although peace makers are blessed, those who wish for peace are unwanted, and in danger of being eliminated.

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3. Street Art and Nature

Street art that blends with the environment, particularly nature, is extremely beautiful. Take a look at the following examples of portraits created with leaves and bushes.

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4. The Dentist

This is a clever piece designed by Nomerz. It uses the brick and pipe pieces of an old building to create the image of a man with a cigarette in his mouth. It shows the negative effects that smoking can have on the body.

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5. Umbrella Tree

Who would have thought that a tree with orange umbrellas in it could look so good? Take a look at this wonderful urban installation.

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6. Bicycle Facade

Here’s another incredible 3d Street Art Installation: the Bicycle Facade. It features dozens bikes displayed on a plain facade.

7. Child Coloring

Imagination is the canvas of our minds. This unique 3D street art portrays a child coloring his family on a small house. It has flowers, blue frames for the windows, a bad-ass sun and coloring pencils.

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8. Stair Street Art

There are many examples of street art on stairs. Some display images of harbors, others vivid colors or inspirational messages.

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9. LEGO

In the nooks and crannies of many cities you can find bits of LEGO filling up cracks in the walls. It’s a great idea for brightening up old buildings.

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10. Ice Men

The 3D Ice man installation is a symbol that nothing is permanent. Hundreds of 3D ice figures decorated the stairs of the city, but melted away with the first sun.

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11. Little People

This is a photo of a small plastic couple stranded on a tennis ball. It even has a palm tree to represent an island, and the water around it is made from the rain gathered on the street. It is a symbol that even the smallest thing can be turned into art.

 

12. Just Spray

David Walker managed to pull off a brushes-and-stencils effect using only spray. It is an unusual mural especially considering that it is so difficult to create. The vibrant colors make the portrait incredibly realistic, and a welcome addition to the urban landscape.

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13. Church Windows

No, they are not real, it is just a breath-takingly detailed mural of Church windows which also depicts the artists praying.

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14. Art from Cracks on the Walls

Who said that cracks on the wall can’t represent anything? Take a look at this amazing street art.

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15. The Secret of Happiness is…

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16. Self Portrait of Artist With liquid Refreshment

by Julian Beever

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17. Nails

Ouch, this Hurts – by Manfred Stader

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18. Reflection

Only the bottom part of this photo is street art, the people are real. – by Kurt Wenner

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19. Hot River

This is a brilliant artwork made by Edgar Mueller. The entire street was designed to look like a hot river of lava. It looks so real!

 

20. Pink Haired Girl

This mural is so detailed that it almost looks real.

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The 8 Most Talented Female Street Artists

Since its inception, street art has seemed like a boy’s game. It all started back in 1970, on subway trains. Back then, everything that involved spraying, wheat-pasting, stenciling on walls or tagging was illegal, and competitive men who wanted to demonstrate their hyper-masculinity preferred to participate. The rules have changed nowadays, and street art is now accepted and promoted across the globe. This means that a lot of women have also picked up the secrets of the trade, but because the aliases are so ambiguous, you might not have known that they are actually female street artists.

Recommended Read: 10 Street Artists to Watch in 2014 

We might not yet now how many women artists are out there, but we know at least ten that we would like to share. Finally, the time has come for graffiti art to receive a feminine touch. Here are ten girls that have managed to push the boundaries of urban art.

1. Hera from HERAKUT

Number one of our list of female street artists is Hera, a member of Herakut from Germany. She has been collaborating with Akut (Falk Lehma) since 2004, and together they have perfectly blended their extremely different styles. She builds the skeleton, while Akut adds flesh and skin to portray and edgy fantasy realm.

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2. Lady Pink

Not only is she considered the best female writer of her generation, but she has also managed to prove that girls can not only do street art, but actually do it better than boys. Her colorful surreal paintings have been displayed at the Brooklyin Museum, the Met and the Whitney. Her last work was part of the Welling Court Mural Project.

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3. Maya Hayuk

To be honest, I have always been a huge fan of Maya Hayuk, but even if her name is clearly feminine, I never thought she was a woman. Her unique style is characterized by intricate models with bright colors. Her large-scale murals can be seen all over the world. The only place where they will never be displayed are galleries with less than 10% female artists.

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4. Gilf!

Do you think that you can change the world through art? Gilf! Is one of the people who believes you can. Her polar bears wear floaties, guzzles fruit punch and interesting 2D murals can be found all over the Statue of Liberty and other locations. She even painted a mural called “All I see are Naked Emperors” outside the Chelsea gallery. Her most important quality is that she manages to bring artists together to collagorate on walls.

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5. MYLA

Myla and Dabs, from DABS MYLA are a married couple of street artists that have been working together for over 12 years. Their styles are so similar that you can’t tell one from the other. Their signature style includes clear lines, interesting color palettes and a distinct cartoonish appearance. Myla is one of the most consistent female street artists at the moment.

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6. SWOON

Another example of extremely talented female street artists is Swoon. You might know her from the life-sized wheat paste prints which adorn the abandoned buildings of Brooklyn and Manhattan. All of her works reflect the social and environmental issues of the planet, and everything she creates draws its inspiration from folk and historical sources (eg. German expressionism and Indonesian Shadow puppets).

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7. CBLOXX

You probably had no idea that CBLOXX is one of the most popular female street artists in the world. Her style is so different from what we have seen before, that it would be impossible not to recognize it. CBLOXX grew up in Yorkshire, Huddersfield, is a high-school drop-out and self-taught street artist. Most of her work is surreal and depicts phantoms, voodoo characters, skeletons etc. In contrast with the city it generates a creepy atmosphere.

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8. FAITH47

Another self-taught artist from the female street artists category is Faith47. She is from Cape Town and extremely cherished for her socially engaged murals. All of her work has a lamentable mood that is impossible to miss.

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Sources: WideWalls & SocietePerrier

Street Art Highlights of the Month: 10 Street Artists to Watch in 2014

We don’t know exactly what it is that motivates street artists around the world, but it seems that this art is more prolific than any other. A while back we wrote about the Most Beautiful Street Artists an Creation of 2013, but it was time for a refresh. With every month, a new and extremely talented street artist leaves his mark on one of the biggest cities of the World, and all we can do is stare in awe. So what street artists should you be keeping an eye out for in 2014? The list is difficult to narrow down to only 10, but we will try to give to you the best artists for murals, installations, exhibitions, paint jobs, events and fairs in 2014, based on their progress in 2013. So here are the people, that we believe will be extremely successful this year. Each of them have outstanding talents.

 

1. Groundswell – New York

The Mural work on the Bowery and Houston Streets of New York are undoubtedly the most popular examples of Groundswell’s work. They were done in collaboration with street artist Swoon. The mural has put the work of a two decade old organization into the spotlight. The group usually makes collaborations with local communities and artists to promote themselves, as well as local art.

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2. Smithe – Mexico City

Smithe has collaborated with Nycho (another great artists which we will list later) to create some wickedly detailed walls in the United States. He contributed to the 200-foot wall adorning Factory Fresh and two massive walls as part of the All City Canvas’ Global Series.

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3. Nychos

Is there a top of Street artists in this world that does not contain Nychos? Nychos is well-known for his detailed dissected murals of animals. He is one of the most prolific street artists out there right now, and he creates at least 10 new murals every year, each more mind-melting than the other. Nevertheless, 2013 was for the first time that he announced two solo exhibitions in the U.S.

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4. Alexis Diaz – Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican street artists, Alex Diaz, is focused on the creation of intricate, delicate and meticulous designs. He also co-hosted the street art group show called “Friends and Family”.

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5. Sainer

If you are searching for something creative, innovative and artistically verse, than Sainer is the right muralist to choose. Sainer started his activity with the Etam Cru a few months back, but has finally decided to pursue a solo career. He contributed a Street art interpretation of the Volvo XC60 at the Volvo Art Session in Zurich.

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6. Danien Arsham

Much like Damien Hirst, Daniel Arsham is also a conceptual artist who has approached art with a minimalistic, innovative and unique style. His first solo exhibit in 2014, in Baro Galeria in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was followed by another one, “Kick the Tires and Light the Fires” at the OHWOW Gallery in LA.

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7. Nanook

Nanook is the long-time best friend of Gaia, and the talented painting hand behind his murals. He has traveled far and wide, from Reno to Baltimore and Buenos Aires to help people with their murals, but recently he has decided to take the solo career. We are interested to see how his career will develop.

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8. Nose Go

Nose Go is a street artists that you are probably already familiar with because he had incredible success in 2013. He was showcased at the Californian street art fair “Beyond Eden”, and he even opened his own “Unknown Elements together with Curiot at Thinkspace” duo-exhibit. He belongs to the “sur-real” street art group of artists.

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9. Bezt

BEZT, from the Etam Cru has also created some notable murals. As a matter of fact he has made the best-ever large scale murals in the Wynwood District of Miami. We have never questioned his talent, but it is only now that he has made it on an international level and justifiably so.

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10. Curiot

Irrespective of the fact that he is working solo or as a team, Curiot is an excellent, imaginative, fabulous and outstanding artist. A while back he hosted the Unknown Creatures exposition with Nose Go at Think Space, and he also had a solo one at the FFDG Gallery in San Francisco. We love his work, and expect much from him in the future.

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The World’s Most Unbelievable Billboard Fails

Billboards are great for giving us useful information as we drive by; such as what a burger looks like or what a giant person wearing underwear would look like. However, the worst billboards fails around also give us something to laugh at as we walk or drive past.

The Obesity Warning Billboard

 Billboard Fails

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