Hi, Banksy, Could you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to pursue painting?

Well, I prefer to keep my background a mystery, but what I can say is that I was drawn to street art because of its power to communicate directly with the public, outside the confines of traditional galleries. I started as a freehand graffiti artist in Bristol and was influenced by the burgeoning street art scene. The streets offer a canvas that is raw, real, and has the power to engage with everyday people.

How would you describe your approach to art and the development of your style?

My approach is grounded in delivering strong social and political messages. I aim to challenge, provoke thought, and sometimes amuse. Over the years, I've shifted from freehand to stenciling, mainly for its efficiency and ability to convey more detailed messages. My style is a blend of dark humor with graffiti done in a distinctive stenciling technique.

What inspires you to choose the subjects that you do?

I'm inspired by the world around me – particularly social and political issues. My work often comments on topics like war, consumerism, hypocrisy, and the absurdity of power. I aim to highlight the overlooked and bring to light the injustices in society. The streets are a space where these issues play out, so it's a fitting canvas.

Could you elaborate on how you approach color in your work?

My use of color is typically quite minimal; I often stick to a monochromatic palette to keep the focus on the message. When I do use color, it's deliberate and serves a specific purpose – to attract attention, evoke certain emotions, or highlight a particular part of the piece. The simplicity of black and white can be quite powerful.

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring artists who look up to your work?

The best advice I can give is to find your own voice and use it to say something meaningful. Don't be afraid to break the rules and challenge norms. Art should be about expressing your perspective and not about pleasing critics or galleries. Stay true to what you believe in, and use your art to make people think and possibly even act.