Banksy: The World’s Most Famous Street Artist

( – In the 1990s, graffiti began popping up around Bristol, England, with much of it making political or cultural statements about the world. As it began to spread around the continent, the artist made a name for himself: Banksy. However, he never let the public find out his identity, and in the meantime, his works have gained worldwide renown and, in turn, a hefty price tag.

Perhaps his most famous piece, “Girl With Balloon,” appeared in London in 2002. It shows a little child letting go of a small, heart-shaped red balloon, which many speculate symbolizes the loss of innocence that often happens in childhood.

Nearby in France, Banksy made a statement in 2015 with a painting of Apple founder Steve Jobs carrying a bag over his shoulder and a computer. This piece was displayed in Calais, a refugee camp in the country, and brings attention to the fact that Jobs is the son of a Syrian migrant. According to BBC news, in a public statement at the time, Banksy highlighted how the revolutionary tech company generates over $7 billion a year in taxes “because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

In a partner piece in the same place, Banksy created a stenciled picture of refugees on a shoddy raft waving to a luxury yacht in the distance, juxtaposing the world’s poorest with the world’s richest.

Recently, the sneaky artist traveled to Ukraine to bring attention to the plight of the people. He created numerous pieces, including this one of an elderly man bathing in a bombed building:

Banksy also put a stencil of a gymnast doing a handstand on a hunk of rubble in Borodyanka, Ukraine, showing the nation’s ability to create beauty amidst their struggle. This artist will likely continue using his unique platform to share his opinions with the world, although not everyone is pleased with his seemingly constant defacement of often both public and private property.

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