As the Olympic Games draw near, Brits are excited to be at the center of the global event. Despite the public's enthusiasm, police are threatening remove any graffiti related to the Olympics. This includes works by Banksy, the notorious UK graffiti artist. According to Fast Company, two of his illustrations have already appeared in public places, and more are likely to follow.
One of two Olympics-themed Banksy works.
One of the works is of a javelin thrower hurling a missile. The other depicts a pole vaulter leaping over a fence.
The fact that four graffiti artists were arrested based solely on suspicion last week hasn't fazed the artist, who posted photos of his work on his website. Authorities have cracked down on illegal street art and have banned the apprehended artists from being within one mile of any Olympic venue. Among those reprimanded are prison graffiti artist Darren Cullen, whose access to public transportation is now regulated. All four artists cannot own art supplies associated with graffiti.
Banky's creative ventures have been an anticipated part of the Olympics. Last week, Artlyst noted that in spite of a crackdown on graffiti during the festivities, the enigmatic artist would no doubt share his wall art with the world.
Over the years, Banksy has left his stenciled portraits on hundreds of walls. His work is satirical and sometimes contains dark political undertones. Though his style is largely recognizable, he has managed to remain anonymous, which is an accomplishment in itself. Little is known about his background or motivation despite widespread interest in uncovering the man behind the shadow.
The Daily Mail has dubbed him "the Scarlet Pimpernel of modern art, so adept at leaving false trails that even his own agent has claimed that he is not certain of his identity."
Banksy's career spans more than a decade -- from London to the West Bank barrier between Israel and Palestine, he has acquired international recognition and praise. Professional highlights include a tremendously popular exhibit at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, as well as an Academy Award nomination for the documentary "Exit through the Gift Shop."
His illustrations serve as amusing cultural commentary and evidence of his tremendous talent -- and consistent disregard for authority.
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