Banksy Graffiti Superhero: 45 Great Photos & Quotes

August 17th, 2011 Permalink

After watching Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” followed by Banksy’s new TV show “The Antics Roadshow” which focuses on the history of public pranks and various forms of anarchy, we wanted to pay tribute to Banksy. Much like the sand demon competition that is only meant to be temporary, too often Banksy’s street graffiti lives a very short time before it’s removed. Pity that, cause we think Banksy is talented, funny, and can make some very loud statements with his art with which we agree. Although we know that any talk of graffiti seems to ignite a war of opinions ranging from “it’s art” to “it’s vandalism,” the rebel spirit of raging against the machine appeals to some of us. The artist himself said, “Is graffiti art or vandalism? That word has a lot of negative connotations and it alienates people, so no, I don’t like to use the word ‘art’ at all.” Here are some of Banksy’s graffiti that speaks loudly to us, mixed in with quotes gathered from around the web that are purportedly pure Banksy. [45 Photos]

Banksy Banksy tapped phone

Banksy often uses his stenciling technique to show contempt for the government which considers graffiti to be vandalism and not art. Photo #1 by Banksy


The dreaded surveillance society. Banksy’s graffiti usually carries a message that is anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. “Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity,” ~ quote by Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall). Photo #2 by by nolifebeforecoffee♡

Pure Banksy

Pure Banksy: The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal. “Become good at cheating and you never need to become good at anything else,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #3 by Kevin Rawlings

art work by Banksy, on the Thekla Social entertainment boat, central Bristol, England

Art work by Banksy, on the Thekla Social entertainment boat, central Bristol, England. The image of Death is supposedly based on a 19th century etching illustrating the pestilence of The Great Stink. Banksy Photo #4 by Adrian Pingstone

1 Nation under CCTV Banksy

Wikipedia says Banksy supports the following movements: Anti-war, Anti-capitalism, Anti-fascism, Anti-imperialism, Anti-authoritarianism, Anarchism, and Existentialism. “I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me,” ~ quote by Banksy. Banksy Photo #5 by Chris Beckett

Banksy barely legal

Banksy art displayed at “Barely Legal” gallery show in LA. “Think from outside the box, collapse the box and take a f***king knife to it,” ~ quote by Banksy. Banksy Photo #6 by Bit Boy

Banksy on Anonymous

Banksy on Anonymous as was displayed at “Barely Legal” art show. “I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public. They forget that invisibility is a superpower,” ~ quote by Banksy. Banksy Photo #7 by Bit Boy

Banksy's self-harming hoodie

Banksy’s “self-harming hoodie” as seen at Cans Festival, Leake St. May Bank Holiday Weekend. “If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask. If you want to be honest then you have to live a lie,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #8 by Leeky-Boy

guantanemo Banksy

Banksy on Guantanemo ~ “I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom.” Photo #9 by Banksy

Banksy forgive us

Regarding Banksy’s graffiti, Wikipedia added, “the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair, absurdity, and alienation.” Photo #10 by Banksy

Banksy @ 4th and La Brea

“It’s a very frustrated feeling you get when the only people with good photos of you work are the police department,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #11 by jvoves

Banksy peace + love

Banksy Hits San Francisco. “People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine,” ~ Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall). Photo #12 by Banksy

banksy take this society

“Art is not like other culture because its success is not made by its audience. The public fill concert halls and cinemas every day, we read novels by the millions, and buy records by the billions. ‘We the people’ affect the making and quality of most of our culture, but not our art,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #13 by eddiedangerous

Banksy framed

“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #14 by Banksy

if graffiti changed anything, it would be illegal ~ Banksy

“Nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent, leave the house before you find something worth staying in for,” ~ quote by Banksy. Photo #15 by Banksy

original thought ~ Banksy

“A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #16 by Banksy


“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages,” ~ Banksy. Photo #17 by Banksy

Banksy, Angel with skull. In memoriam Ozone

Ozone’s Angel: Banksy created this Angel with skull memoriam of Ozone who was hit by an underground train in Barking, East London. After Banksy painted this angel wearing a bullet-proof vest and holding a skull, he updated his website to say, “The last time I hit this spot I painted a crap picture of two men in banana costumes waving hand guns. A few weeks later a writer called Ozone completely dogged it and then wrote ‘If it’s better next time I’ll leave it’ in the bottom corner. When we lost Ozone we lost a fearless graffiti writer and as it turns out a pretty perceptive art critic. Ozone – rest in peace.” Banksy Photo #18 by Darren from London, England

interest in people

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to,” ~ Banksy. Photo #19 by Banksy

Banksy no tresspassing

Time reported on Banksy’s style: “What exactly that brand represents has never been entirely clear. Banksy is a paradox: he used his anonymity to court attention and became a commercial success by condemning consumer culture.” Banksy allegedly wrote in an an e-mail to the New Yorker magazine, “I originally set out to try and save the world, but now I’m not sure I like it enough.” Photo #20 by Banksy

eat the rich

“There are four basic human needs; food, sleep, sex and revenge,” ~ Banksy. Photo #21 by Banksy

Banksy - Laugh Now

“Once upon a time there was a bear and a bee who lived in a wood and were the best of friends. All summer long the bee collected nectar from morning to night while the bear lay on his back basking in the long grass. When winter came the bear realised he had nothing to eat and thought to himself ‘I hope that busy little bee will share some of his honey with me.’ But the bee was nowhere to be found – he had died of a stress induced coronary disease,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Banksy Photo #22 by kris beltran

Banksy killer crayons

“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #23 by Stefan Kloo

Charlie Burn Brown by Banksy

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a p*ss,” ~ Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall). Photo #24 by Stefan Kloo


“If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Banksy Photo #25 by Ludovic Bertron

Banksy Looters

Looters by Banksy in New Orleans. According to Wikipeida, in 2008, to mark the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina “and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster.” Banksy Photo #26 by Infrogmation of New Orleans

steam roller warden

Steam roller warden. Reoccurring subjects in Banksy’s graffiti are rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly. Photo #27 by Banksy

guard peeing Banksy

“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place,” ~ quote by Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #28 by Banksy

Banksy question time

Banksy seems to think ‘highly’ of politicians. Some people think very highly of Banksy and have paid huge amounts of money for his art. According to Wikipedia, an example of the Banksy effect: “In February 2007, the owners of a house with a Banksy mural on the side in Bristol decided to sell the house through Red Propeller art gallery after offers fell through because the prospective buyers wanted to remove the mural. It is listed as a mural that comes with a house attached.” Photo #29 by Banksy


“The human race is the most stupid and unfair kind of race. A lot of the runners don’t even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It’s not surprising a lot of people have given up compeating altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk and shout abuse. What the human race needs is a lot more streakers,” ~ Banksy (Cut It Out). Photo #30 by Banksy

Banksy - muzzled

“Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #31 by Banksy

Banksy Cancelled Dreams

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish. But that’s only if it’s done properly,” ~ Banksy. Photo #32 by Banksy

Death comes in all forms

Death comes in all forms. “I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #33 by Stuart

sperm alarm

Sperm alarm. Photo #34 by Banksy

Girl seized by an ATM, attributed to Banksy

Girl seized by an ATM, Rosebery Avenue, London, attributed to Banksy. Photo #35 by Bengt Oberger


“Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access,” ~ Banksy. Photo #36 by Banksy


“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #37 by Banksy

kentucky fox

Kentucky fox. Banksy on ‘Brandalism’: “Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It’s yours to take, rearrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.” Photo #38 by Banksy


“We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves,” Banksy. Photo #39 by Banksy

park ~ Banksy

“Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity at the same time is ideal,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece). Photo #40 by Banksy

Banksy City Road Rat

“I’d been painting rats for three years before someone said ‘that’s a clever anagram of art’ and I had to pretend I’d known that all along,” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #41 by LoopZilla


NYC phone box. Photo #42 by Banksy

Banksy graffiti removal

“The Art we look at is made by only a select few. A small group create, promote, purchase, exhibit and decide the success of Art. Only a few hundred people in the world have any real say. When you go to an Art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires…” ~ Banksy. Banksy Photo #43 by

The Elephant in the Room from Barely Legal show

The Elephant in the Room from Banksy’s Barely Legal show. Banksy Photo #44 by Bit Boy

Banksy Art in the Streets at MOCA-LA

“A wall is a very big weapon. It’s one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with,” ~ Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall). Banksy Photo #45 by Francis Orante

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