Banksy’s Influences – Who Inspired Banksy?
Banksy is a pseudo-name for a well-known British graffiti artist. He is believed to be born around 1974 in Yate, South Gloucestershire. He was first involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom on the late 1980s. The style of his artwork is mostly satirical piece on topics such as culture, ethnic, and politics. Technique wise, the way he combines both stencil and graffiti is very similar to a French artist Blek Le Rat. His art that appear in cities around the world was first born out of Bristol underground scene involving musicians and artists. His prints are popular with celebrity and singer Christina Aguilera and actor Brad Pitt.
When it started, Blek Le Rat took inspiration from New York’s graffiti scenes. It is from this scene that he created his own style by continuously painting stenciled rats around the streets in Paris before going nationwide to Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse.
Banksy has also recognized Blek Le Rat influences in his artwork while also being a big fan of Blek’s work. In one of his quote, Banksy said “Every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier.”
On the other hand, Prou admitted that he sees Banksy as a son of his movement in addition to crediting Blanksy for raising his profile while providing him with increased publication that resulted in increased commercial success. In his interview with Sunday Times, Prou said “I consider him like my descendant. He took some ideas. But he changed them. And he took the movement to a huge level all over the world.”
What other’s do not really know is that there is another person whom inspired Banksy to first take out his stencils and spray paints in the dead of night. Known as the Godfather of Street Art, Richard Hambleton made his first mark in the 1970s painting chalk outlines with red blood across North America cities. His most famous piece, the Shadowman and Marlboro Man collections are among some of his pieces that have the clearest links to Banksy.
He was born in Vancouer, Canada in june 1954. He earned his bachelor in 1975 from Emily Carr School of Art. Recognize as the Founder and Co-Director of “Pumps” Center for Alternative Art in Vancouver. He is now working and living in New York City. Richard Hambleton is the surviving member of group who, together among Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, had a great success coming out of New York City art scene during the 1980s. A lot of his work is similar to graffiti art, however, Hambleton considered his work as public art.
He is the person who influenced Xavier Prou (Blek Le Rat). When ask, Prou said that he really like Richard Hambleton. Richard was the first artist from NYC to export his work all over the world in the 80s. His work has been so widespread in Europe it could be found in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and many other cities.