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This book is part of Hyperink's best little books series. Our best little books are 3,500-5,000 words of fast, entertaining information on a highly demanded topic. Based on reader feedback (including yours!), we may expand this book in the future. If we do so, we'll send a free copy to all previous buyers.


"Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss." Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Who is Banksy?

It's a good question. He might be best described as the anonymous artist with an astonishingly high profile. Banksy is a pseudonym for a graffiti artist, painter and film director from Bristol in the United Kingdom. His satirical art style has also earned him a well-deserved reputation as a political activist.

Consistently controversial, Banksy is described by some as genius and others as a vandal. Regardless of whether he is inspiring admiration or provoking outrage, his name is one that is well-known around the world. His early career, between 1990 and 1994, was that of a traditional freehand graffiti artist in the Bristol underground scene. The stenciling technique for the 'guerrilla art' for which he is now better known was first seen around 2000 and is widely thought to have been inspired by Blek le Rat (Xavier Prou), one of the first Parisian graffiti artists who is also known as the 'Father of Stencil Graffiti.'


Former pupils at the school recall that Robin was a gifted artist who took pride in his illustrations. In anonymous interviews, Banksy has himself revealed that his interest in graffiti art was fostered while he was at school. Robin Gunningham left the Bristol Cathedral School at the age of 16, after having completed his GCSEs.

Speaking to Robin Gunningham's parents has proved inconclusive to say the least. His father refused to identify the picture as being that of his son, while his mother stated she didn't even have a son. Whether this is because of a rumored family rift caused by his parent's displeasure at their son's chosen career or whether they are simply trying to protect him from prosecution remains unclear. In true Banksy style, his press office also declined to confirm or refute the claim that Robin Gunningham is indeed the true identity of the artist.

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