Robin Gunningham believed to be the anonymous ‘Banksy’ has left his artistic expression on the world in a multitude of ways. He has been popular for his social and political commentaries on walls, streets, and even props pieces.
Banksy is a part of the ‘Bristol Scene’, with his signature stenciling styles. Although he keeps his identity secret, various reports point that Banksy’s real name is Robin Gunningham.
Banksy Persona Protects Robin Gunningham
Whether, Gunningham is Banksy, or just one of many supporting the outspoken persona, matters little to his own amazing successes.
Gunnigham is also a film director, his documentary “Exit through the gift shop” got him the coveted Academy Award. Being anonymous is not an option for Banksy, it is a basic requirement for the work he does on publicly visible surfaces.
A lot of speculation exists behind Banksy’s real name which is not unusual in this line of work. He is a maverick who has successfully rattled the political and social scene of the UK.
Artistic Savants Don’t Come Around Everyday
Banksy exhibits an extraordinary visual talent. During the 1990s, his initial graffiti images were noticed in United Kingdom cities like Bristol, Brighton, and London. “The Mild Mild West” was perhaps Banksy’s first popular mural. It featured a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at the riot police.
In 2004, Brighton residents became witnesses to the “Kissing Coppers”, which featured two cops kissing each other – perhaps an intended revelation about Brighton’s increasing gay population. It later sold for $575,000 at auction.
Banksy, the graffiti artist, has a cult following. In fact, he also happens to have a term coined to his credit, “Banksy effect” which basically means to bring contemporary art into the mainstream.
Banksy made a masterpiece in London during 2002 with a girl looking up to a red heart-shaped balloon and named it “There is always hope.”
Later in 2014, Justin Bieber acknowledged his artistic endeavors by sporting a tattoo of the same painting on his arm.
Artistic Endeavors with a Social Commentary
The elusive Banksy performed his most famous stunt when he did a remote-controlled shredding of his painting. All this happened as his painting was being auctioned for $1.3 million in 2018. The act took place live at the Sotheby auction in London.
As soon as the auctioneer announced the final selling price and banged a hammer over it, the painting frame suddenly started to beep. The painting started to slip downwards and shreds started emerging at the bottom. Banksy was assumed in the audience at the auction.
He shot video of the auction proceedings and added his own video clip showing how he installed the automatic shredding mechanism. He posted this video online. The stunt was further commercialized by Sotheby’s, calling it “Love is in the bin”. They made the painting more valuable by calling it the first work of art that took place during a live auction.
If Robin Gunningham is indeed Banksy, he is the Picasso of modern times. Perhaps the quote that he borrows from Picasso is an appropriate description of his thought levels. He says “the urge to destroy is also a creative urge”.