In this article, we will see more about How Does Banksy Make Money?
Banksy is a graffiti artist who was born on July 28, 1974, in Bristol, United Kingdom. As of 2021, this makes him 47 years old. He is known for his famous thought-provoking works that appear in many public places around the world. Despite Banksy creating remarkable graffiti, he has managed to remain anonymous. He started by being a member of a Graffiti gang known as “DryBreadz Crew”.
His artwork started in the 90s and he used signature stencil Style. This style helps people easily recognize Banksy’s work. It is also a much faster way to paint. Banksy’s work was inspired by Blek Le Rat, a French Graffiti Artist.
He has stayed anonymous from the beginning because graffiti is considered criminal damage. By being anonymous Banksy has been able to stay out of trouble. During the 90’s he got recognized for spray painting trains and walls in Bristol. His work was inspired by the corruption and inequality in society. Banksy also added a bit of humor to his artwork.
How does Banksy make his money?
Since Banksy is a graffiti artist, he doesn’t make much money from painting on walls.
However, reports from the end of the 90s claim that he worked with an agent known as Steve Lazarides. Steve Helped Banksy sell his pieces and make money.
In 2008 he Collaborated with Damien Hirst to create a piece called “Keep It Spotless“. It was sold at an auction for $1.7 million. This artwork set a new record for street art.
Banksy also made money by selling prints and distributing them through the Pictures On Walls (POW) website. The website was created by Banksy and his other group of artists. Customers got an opportunity to buy Banksy’s artwork at affordable prices. The website was active until 2017.
Additionally, he directed an oscar-nominated documentary known as “Exit Through The Gift Shop” where he made more than $5 million. Banksy also wrote the best-selling book known as “Wall and Piece” which made him some good money. Banksy sells his art privately through an agency known as “Pest Control” which helps to validate his work and prevent fraud control. It is unlike other artists who use galleries, solo or group shows.
According to artspace.com, Private work is now over $500, this means that if Banksy makes around 20 paintings, he earns $100,000. $100, 000 is enough money to fund his projects and earn a decent salary.
Further in 2015, Banksy opened Dismaland Bemusement Park in Weston- super-Mare near Bristol. It was a temporary amusement park in an art show that displayed the work of other artists. The project was to acknowledge inequality and how it’s causing great suffering in society. Additionally, the park organized concerts and late-night parties. Dismaland was closed the same year.
In 2017 Banksy drew a civilian drone strike where three drones bombed a house as a little girl watched. This piece sold for £200 000. Banksy used the money to oppose an arms fair that was taking place in London at the time.
In October 2018, one of his pieces known as ‘ Girl with Balloon” sold at £1 million. Soon after the piece was shredded. This was probably to pass a point of Banksy being against artwork commercial success. It took place at Sotheby’s in London.
Despite Banksy being a famous artist, he does not let money define him as an artist. For instance, in 2013, he sold some of his artwork from a vendor stall in New York, central park, for as little as $60. This move was to denounce the Art market exploitation of pricing artworks. Additionally, in 2017, he had an online lottery where he sold prints at a low cost. He also prefers his money to go to charity instead.
What we will be discussing further
- What we know About Banksy as of 2021
- Banksy’s Famous Art
- Legal battles that Banksy faced
- Frequently Asked Questions
As of 2021, do we know Banksy’s Identity?
Unfortunately, as of 2021, Banksy has still not been unmasked. However, his identity may have been revealed in a 2003 interview. It is believed that Banksy spoke to ITV news for 35 seconds in a 2-minute report. Banksy’s upper face was visible; forehead, eyebrows, and eyes visible. His lower face was covered with a T-shirt and he wore a baseball hat. He talked about being disguised because he was a graffiti artist. He added that going public didn’t go together with being a graffiti artist.
Additionally, a journalist of the Guardian claims to have seen him face to face in 2003 As he conducted an exceptional interview. Lastly, according to The Mail, his real name is thought to be Robin Gunningham.
Legal battles that Banksy faced
Banksy becoming increasingly famous led to too many unauthorized exhibitions and reproductions. It became a challenge to protect his work due to his anonymity. This is because copyright laws require an artist’s identity to be disclosed.
In 2014 Banksy registered his work as a trademark. He used the trademark to temporarily sell goods inspired by his artwork.
However, in 2020, the EU intellectual property office denied some of Banksy’s registration applications, stating that Banksy made them in Bad Faith.
Banksy’s Famous Art
Banksy has created more than 120 works worldwide. However, the most famous work that Banksy has created in the UK include:
- “There’s always hope”. This art piece was created in 2002, South Bank, London.
- In April 2014, Banksy created GCHQ government spies telephone book. This piece shows three men in sunglasses listening in on a conversation At a phone box using listening devices.
- In 2019, Banksy’s artwork of a devolved parliament with chimpanzees in the House of Commons was sold at an auction for £9.9 million.
- In March 2020 Banksy Acknowledged a piece of a prisoner escaping a previous reading prison. The rope was made of pieces of paper that were tied together with a typewriter at the bottom.
- The May 2020 artwork known as “The Game Changer” was painted on a wall at the Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire.
- In July 2020, he encouraged people to wear masks. His work was called “if you don’t wear a mask, you don’t get. The artwork had several rats wearing face masks. However, a cleaner scrubbed it off the London Underground after a while.
- Soon after, in October 2020, he created another piece where a girl was hula hooping using a bicycle tire. The mural was soon removed and sold to an art gallery in Essex. Unfortunately, the local people of Nottingham did not get to enjoy seeing the painting much longer.
- By December 2020, he created a mural inspired by covid-19. The Mural was of a woman sneezing out her dentures, the piece is called “Achoo!” It was done on vale street along England’s steepest road. An art dealer estimated it to be worth £5 million.
Banksy is an iconic figure in street art. we may not know his identity but one thing is for sure. He is a graffiti art activist and a philanthropist. Also, his artwork is a mirror to particular issues close to his heart. He has clearly stated that he designs his artwork for a particular cause. When he sells his artwork he prefers the money to go to charity.
Banksy also actively encourages fans not to buy artwork that was not created for sale in the first place. Clearly, Banksy is not looking to get rich from his artwork.
Frequently asked questions
- Why does Banksy go by Banksy?
According to Mark Leverton, Banksy got his name from being a goalkeeper; his teammates named him Banksy after the England goalkeeper. However, other people claim that his initial tag was “Robin Banx” which soon became Banksy because it’s catchy.
- Can Banksy’s designs be used for greeting cards, T-shirts, or any other products?
Definitely, not a good idea. Banksy does not use his artwork for commercial purposes. Based on his website, Banksy would not appreciate his artwork being used for commercial work.
- Can a collector buy an original Banksy?
Absolutely. Collectors can buy Banksy’s work at different prices. For instance, some collectors have won auctions with some staggering totals. But not to worry, budding collectors also get an opportunity to get affordable works.
- Where is Banksy’s Graffiti located in London?
Banksy has an art of the state Banksy locations map that is always up to date with at least 10 pieces to look at. It has had over 2 million visitors. Some of the locations include Tooley Street, Rivington Street, Clipstone Street, Portobello Road, Camberwell in South East London, Chrisp Street, Regent Canal, Camden area, Essex Road, Cargo NightClub, Golden Lane-Barbican, and Chiswell Street.