Don't feel bad if you don't know who Banksy is. Nobody does. We just know "of him". Banksy is probably the most famous person no one has ever met. Banksy is a British graffiti artist, political activist and painter, whose identity is still unconfirmed. Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene in the late "80's" and has progressed into into a prominent artist, self-published author and film maker. Banksy's works have dealt with an array of political and social themes, including anti-War, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism. Additionally, the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair, absurdity, and alienation.
In the past few years Banksy has grown in popularity with art exhibitions (which he neglected to attend) and has become a hot item at high profile auctions. Banksy recently contributed to creating the always creative opening to the "The Simpsons" episode "moneyBART". The opening included a minute long interlude that portrayed an Asian sweatshop where Simpsons products are made through strenuous labor. This opening led to a public uproar of questions to Banksy, the producers of The Simpsons, and Fox:
Artists take risks everyday. In 2004 Bansky took that concept to a whole new level. He actually walked into the Louvre in Paris and hung on a wall a picture he had painted resembling the Mona Lisa but with a yellow smiley face. Though the painting was hurriedly removed by the museum staff, it and its counterpart, temporarily on unknown display at the Tate Britain, were described by Banksy as "shortcuts". He is quoted as saying: “ To actually [have to] go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It's a lot more fun to go and put your own one up."
Banksy has been a controversial artist his entire life (some people consider him a simple vandal). You may not agree with his opinions or political views (I struggle with a few myself), but you can't deny his talent. Banksy is the epitome of creativity at its highest caliber and he should be recognized as such. Its refreshing to know creative minds such as his still roam free in the world.