ARTSY: Banksy Strikes Again

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[Photo by Romanywg]

DAILY MAIL: He is perhaps the most famous, or infamous, artist alive. To some a genius, to others a vandal. Always controversial, he inspires admiration and provokes outrage in equal measure. Since Banksy made his name with his trademark stencil-style ‘guerrilla’ art in public spaces – on walls in London, Brighton, Bristol and even on the West Bank barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians – his works have sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds. He is also known for his headline-making stunts, such as leaving an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantanamo prisoner in banksyqueen_victoria_art.JPGDisneyland, California, and hanging a version of the Mona Lisa – but with a smiley face – in the Louvre, Paris. But perhaps his most provocative statement, and the one that generates the most publicity, is the fact that Banksy’s true identity has always been a jealously guarded secret, known to only a handful of trusted friends. He is the Scarlet Pimpernel of modern art, so adept at leaving false trails that even his own agent has claimed that he is not certain of his identity. Indeed, trying to establish just who the elusive Banksy is has proved as difficult as predicting the location of his next work. But now, after an exhaustive year-long investigation in which we have spoken to dozens of friends, former colleagues, enemies, flatmates and members of Banksy’s close family, The Mail on Sunday has come as close as anyone possibly can to revealing his identity. MORE

PREVIOUSLY ON PHAWKER: Banksy Vs. The Dirty South

stevevolkpenis.jpgTANGENTIALLY RELATED: What we talk about when we talk about Philadelphia’s homicide rate is invariably the kind of bogeymen represented by, say, the Broaster brothers, a notorious pair of gun-happy thugs from North Philadelphia, or Daniel Giddings, who allegedly stood over police officer Patrick McDonald last year and shot him to death in an alley. We think of these people as evil incarnate, and we don’t think, much at all, about the average Philadelphia murder victim: a black male, under 30 years old. Many of these victims are either involved in the Philadelphia drug trade, or simply standing too close to the action — unable, by virtue of a poor education and low economic status, to move to safer neighborhoods. What we consider, even less, is that all of these men were once 10-year-olds, probably acting out in various ways, unchecked, until it was too late. MORE

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