By 2008, despite the global financial crash, a Banksy 'vandalised' version of a Damien Hirst painting sold for over $1.8m. High profile art collectors and celebrities spend thousands to own a Banksy. Among the rich and famous, designer Paul Smith, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are known to be Banksy collectors. After claims that his success meant that he had sold out, Banksy said: “I love the way capitalism finds a place – even for its enemies. It’s boom time in the discontent industry.”

Banksy is believed to be Robin Gunningham, born on 28 July 1973 in Yate, 12 miles (19 km) from Bristol.[15][16][11] Several of Gunningham's associates and former schoolmates at the public Bristol Cathedral School have corroborated this rumour, and in 2016, a study found that the incidence of Banksy's works correlated with the known movements of Gunningham.[17][18][19][20] Lawyers representing Banksy commented on this study, but did not suggest that the paper's conclusions were flawed.[21]
Both Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald are two family-friendly faces of American capitalism, the same country that dropped Napalm on Vietnam. Banksy's work then becomes a critique of not just America but also of capitalism. The girl's horror-stricken face is juxtaposed against the two characters' big, bright smiles. In this simple image, Banksy shows both the fun, carefree facade of American culture, and the reality that America also has a very dark, underbelly which drops bombs on people, and both commercializes and glamorizes war. Banksy once stated that "The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It's people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages."
Graffiti Is a Crime is the first of Banksy’s pieces from his month long ‘residency’ in New York City in October 2013. The piece incorporates his distinctive stencil technique and pokes fun at the law by incorporating an anti-graffiti sign. However, within hours of it being posted on Banksy’s Instagram profile the sign which played an integral part of the piece had been stolen and by the next day city officials had painted over the work. The piece was located in the city’s Allen Street. Graffiti is a Crime location
This Banksy work was found in Hastings and depicts a young child building sandcastles. This in itself is not controversial, but when we notice that Tesco is printed on the sandcastles it takes on a new meaning. Consumerism is a common theme in Banksy’s work and here he seems to be indicating that the supermarket giant is taking over the country! The artwork is still visible on the Sea wall although it has been defaced by other graffitti artists. Approximate location of Tesco Sandcastle.
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Located in a car park on Broadway, Downtown LA, Swing Girl is another example of Banksy making use of what was already there. The ‘ing’ portion of the parking sign have been whitewashed out to form park and a girl on a swing added to the letter A. It seems clear that it is a comment on how there is a lack of places for kids to play safely in what is a fairly rough area of LA. The artwork appeared in 2010 a few days prior to the LA première of Banksy’s film Exit Through The Gift Shop. Swing Girl location
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