Street art is an artistic movement whose first drafts can be seen in the 1960s, whether with the performances of Yves Klein or the graffiti of Basquiat and his friends under the SAMO pseudonym. But if we will surely one day come back to the beginnings of street art, here we are interested in an artist from the end of the 90s and especially the 2000s: Banksy. English by trade, the young Banksy was part of a group of graffiti artists, the Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew, and created a small reputation in the late 90s with the fresco The Mild Mild West. We then find him again in 2003 for the cover of Blur's seventh album: Think Tank. With 20,000 copies sold in the first week in the United States and in the English Top 10 for more than 20 days, this cover makes Banksy go from underground artist to just artist in the eyes of the general public, or at least of a audience unfamiliar with urban culture.
During this period, we can also cite, the Banksy of England tickets, and the hijackings of classical artists, but it was more about his 2005 coup with the "Santa's Ghetto" project. The project is simple: decorate the wall of Bethlehem to "give hope to the Palestinians". With several artists, including Ron English, they will make this wall a gigantic fresco.
Several works later, including a hijacking of the Paris Hilton record, Banksy and cinema collide with the film “Exit through the Gift Shop". Nominated for the Oscar for best documentary and presented at the Sundance Film Festival, the film was generally well received despite a few dissonant voices including Télérama ("We don't really know who is directing or what credit to give to what is shown." ) and other media who do not know what to choose between the brilliant documentary or the vast scam. In 2015, he opened a completely deviant Disneyland under the name "Dismaland" and presented his works there as well as those of some fifty other artists. Prolific, even today, Banksy has the distinction of being, after thirty years of career, still anonymous. However, a few hypotheses have emerged and it could be Robert Gunningham, a graffiti artist from Bristol. He could also be Robert Del Naja, leader of Massive Attack and therefore pope of the Tri-hop movement, a movement that was born in Bristol. Finally, last hypothesis in the person of Jamie Hewlett, cartoonist of the Tank Girl comic strip and of the Gorillaz group. Last point to discuss, the sustainability of Banksy's work and its marketing. Whether it's “Girl with Balloon” which self-destructed under the dumbfounded eyes of buyers during an auction at Sotheby's in London, or the theft of a work from the Bethlehem wall by a Palestinian Taxi driver, the question has been asked for decades: a work of street art belongs to the public, to the owner of the wall or to the artist?