Many people believe that this piece stems from the Bristol riots back in the early 1980’s, but according to Jim Paine in the book “Home Sweet Home” that isn’t true at all. In the late 90’s in Bristol there were many free, unlicensed parties at various warehouses across the city. There was trouble at one such party at Winterstoke Road, where according to Jim “Many of the crowd that night were assaulted by police…it marked the beginning of a more hardline approach from the police, using violence as a method of breaking up parties“. The “Mild Mild West” was painted by Banksy on the side of a building in Stokes Croft, Bristol and was done over the course of 3 days in broad daylight. It remains there to this day. Mild Mild West location.
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Witty and subversive, these new Banksy works targeted political hypocrisy and social injustice. In a 2001 Herald Scotland interview he summed it up: “There is a side of my work that wants to crush the whole system, leaving a trail of the blue and lifeless corpses of judges and coppers in my wake, dragging the city to its knees as it screams my name. Then there is the other darker side.”
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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 no stranger to controvery, but sometimes it is not the pieces of his art you would expect that prove to be the most divisive. Tox is one of those pieces. In June 2011, graffiti lover Daniel Halpin, aka Tox was convicted of tagging multiple locations over a three year period. The prosecution mocked him as ‘no Banksy’ due to a lack of artistry in his tagging. In response Banksy put up the piece which shows a little boy writing ‘Tox’ in bubbles. Opinion is split as to whether this is a show of solidarity or being used to poke fun at Halpin. Location of Tox.

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Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director.[1] His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.[2] Banksy's work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.[3] Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of the English musical group Massive Attack.[4]
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In May 2009, Banksy parted company with agent Steve Lazarides and announced that Pest Control,[77] the handling service who act on his behalf, would be the only point of sale for new works. On 13 June 2009, the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show opened at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, featuring more than 100 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet, featuring 78 new works.[78][79] Reaction to the show was positive, with over 8,500 visitors to the show on the first weekend.[80] Over the course of the twelve weeks, the exhibition was visited over 300,000 times.[81] In September 2009, a Banksy work parodying the Royal Family was partially destroyed by Hackney Council after they served an enforcement notice for graffiti removal to the former address of the property owner. The mural had been commissioned for the 2003 Blur single "Crazy Beat" and the property owner, who had allowed it to be painted, was reported to have been in tears when she saw it was being painted over.[82]
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Government Spies appeared on the side of a house in Cheltenham in April 2014. The mural depicts mysterious 1950’s style  agents listening in on a telephone box in reference to former CIA agent Edward Snowdon exposed techniques used by several agencies. The house on which the mural was painted is close to GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) which is the UK equivalent of America’s NSA. The piece was sold by the home owner to a private collector who is preparing to remove the mural, but as of 2 July the local council have placed a stop order on the work for one month. Government Spies Location.
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