While hiding from the limelight, Banksy has made himself into one of the world's best-kwn living artists. His pieces have fetched millions of dollars at prestigious auction houses. He was minated for an Academy Award for his film Exit Through the Gift Shop. Once viewed as vandalism, his work is w venerated; fans have gone so far as to dismantle the walls that he has painted on for collection and sale.But as famous as Banksy is, he is also utterly unkwn he conceals his real name, hides his face, distorts his voice, and reveals his identity to only a select few. Who is this man that has captivated millions? How did a graffiti artist from Bristol, England, find himself at the center of an artistic movement? How has someone who goes to such great lengths to keep himself hidden achieved such great toriety? And is his anymity a necessity to continue his vandalism or a marketing tool to make him ever more famous?Now, in the first ever full-scale investigation 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, unticed days, and those who have watched him try to come to terms with his newfound fame and success. And he explores the contradictions of a champion of renegade art going to greater and greater lengths to control his image and his work. Banksy offers a revealing glimpse at an enigmatic figure and a riveting account of how a self-professed vandal became an international icon and turned the art world upside down in the process.
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.