The main source for the photos on this blog is Banksy’s own website and Banksy’s four books. Elsewhere the photographer is indicated in the name of the “jpg”. The photos from Dismaland, Walled Off Hotel and some pictures of street art in London, Bristol and Palestine come from my own iPhone.
Real Banksy or not?
There is some confusion regarding the authenticity of certain street art pieces and also regarding his “inside” work. Whether a certain motive is done by Banksy or someone else is normally established by the following sources:
- Banksy’s four books
- Banging your head against a brick wall, 2001
- Existencilism, 2002
- Cut it Out, 2004
- Wall and piece, 2005
- Banksy’s website and Instagram account
- Banksy’s own website: www.banksy.co.uk has been publishing his work continuously, both the street art and the original, such as oils and sculptures, or “outside” and “inside” as Banksy puts it. The publication of a motive on http://www.banksy.co.uk is regarded as proof of authenticity.
- Banksy’s own Instagram account: www.instagram.com/banksy/
- The big auction firms. Forum Auctions, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams, are experts on Banksy. If they claim that the piece is an authentic Banksy there are no reasons not to believe them. Beware, the serious auction houses don’t deal with Banksy street art pieces, they only deal with legitimate Banksy “indoor” art – prints, multiples and unique pieces, such as oil paintings and sculptures.
- Some independent websites have been operating for years and provide loads of historical information on Banksy: http://www.arrestedmotion.com, http://www.artofthestate.co.uk, http://www.woostercollective.com
Home Sweet Home – Banksy’s Bristol. By Steve Wright & Richard Jones. An excellent compilation of Banksy’s early work in Bristol. Very well written by two real experts. A true gem of a book. Considered as a reliable source of pictures and information.
Banksy – The Man behind the Wall. By Will Ellsworth-Jones. A very good read, very well documented and well written.
How do you know that a Banksy print or original is an authentic Banksy?
The authenticity is certified by Banksy’s own office, Pest Control Office, www.pestcontroloffice.com. Upon request, and after investigating the motive, the condition and the provenance of the piece, they issue a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). They do not issue COA’s for street art pieces removed from buildings and streets. The Banksy project fiercely disapproves of any commerce in street artwork.
The big auction firms, like Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Forum and Bonhams, are experts on Banksy. If you buy a Banksy from them and they claim there is a COA on the work, there’s is no reason not to believe them.
False Banksy sources
As Banksy writes on the FAQ section on his official website, http://banksy.co.uk/faq.asp:
“Banksy is NOT on Facebook, Twitter or represented by Steve Lazarides or any other commercial gallery”
Nevertheless, there are several Twitter and Facebook accounts claiming they “are” the real Banksy, gathering millions of followers.