NEW YORK, NY.-
Banksy is perhaps the best known living artist. His pieces have fetched millions of dollars at the world's most prestigious auction houses, and he was nominated for an Academy Award for his film Exit Through the Gift Shop. Once viewed as vandalism, his work is now venerated; fans have gone so far as to dismantle the walls that he has painted on and tried to sell them for thousands of dollars.
But for as famous as Banksy is, he is also utterly unknown. His identity is a mystery, he never shows his face in public, never gives interviews except by email. Who is this man? And how has someone who goes to such great lengths to keep himself hidden achieved such great notoriety?
In BANKSY (St. Martins Press
; February 12, 2013), the first ever full-scale treatment of the artist, reporter Will Ellsworth-Jones pieces together the story of Banksy, building up a picture of the man and the world in which he operates. He talks to his friends and enemies, those who knew him in his early, unnoticed days, and those who have watched him try to come to terms with his newfound fame and success.
Stunningly presented and uniquely packaged, BANKSY offers an eye-opening glimpse of an enigmatic figure and a riveting account of how a graffiti artist from Bristol became an international iconand along the way turned the art world upside down.
WILL ELLSWORTH-JONES was chief reporter and New York correspondent for the Sunday Times. He has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the San Francisco Examiner, and The Anniston Star. His last book, We Will Not Fight, was a history of conscientious objectors in the First World War. He lives in London.
A credible and intelligent portrait of a unique artist, reluctant capitalist and control freak struggling to preserve his own myth and maintain his outsider status. The Independent (UK)
A fascinating portrait that elicits admiration for a man who, despite his increasingly unconvincing efforts to retain some shreds of his vandal status, has had an undeniable impact on art. The Times (UK)
A fascinating history of a wholly likeable art phenomenon. Sunday Times (UK)