The masked art crusader known as "Banksy" was a no-show at two back-to-back award shows, where his documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop" was nominated. While Thierry Guetta (one of the featured stars in the movie) accepted on Banksy's behalf at the the Independent Spirit Awards, February 25, and Justin Timberlake joked that he was the real "Banksy' at the 83rd Academy Awards two nights later, the iconic graffiti artist was incognito. However, in social media circles - like his street art - he has definitely left his mark.
While critics today believe they know who the real Banksy is, earlier this year, an unknown entrepreneur tried to capitalize on revealing his true identity on the social auction site, eBay.
When eBay removed the seller's listing classifying it as an "intangible" item, the second time it was posted, the seller indicated that he had uncovered the identity by matching up the prices of Banksy's sold pieces to corresponding tax records, and that he would release the name on a "tangible" piece of paper. When the bidding price reached $10,100, eBay once again closed down the auction.
Anonymity has been as much a part of Banksy's persona as the irony and wit found in his art. Even though Robin Gunninghamcritics now believe the "Deep Throat" artist is Robin Gunningham, a 36-year-old native of Bristol, England, there are others that still like to believe he is a masked crusader fighting the wrongs of this world through covert art postings in public places.
Shelly Elk reported in Memeburn that "social media has become a perfect playground for Banksy, as he spreads his political message and vision across the world while protecting his true identity."
To date, he has a YouTubeChannel, where he uploads videos and trailers from his movie, and he was a prolific tweeter having attracted over 29,000 followers using the account name of @BanksyArt. However, he seems to have lost interest in the microblogging site on May 15th of 2009 for some reason. But like everything else in his life, Banksy doesn't see the need to explain himself. His last enigmatic tweet included a Twitpic, that stated, "Keep your coins, I want change."
On a Facebook page titled "Summer Show 13th June," some of his most famous and controversial work can be found. The byline for the photo album, however states "by Banksy Unofficial." Here's some of his more whimsical art that has received accolades from celebrities, the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
In 2010, when he released his movie, "Exit through the Gift Shop," he appears alongside Thierry Guetta in a hoodie that hides his face. In a digitally altered voice. Banksy represents himself as an illusive renegade whose identity in the streets and on social media platforms crosses into the realm of performance and conceptual art. I am assuming by taking this posture, Banksy elevates his work from graffiti to true art - worthy of art collectors seeking possession.
Even the popular animated TV Show, "The Simpsons" have paid homage to the man. With kudos like that, who needs to show up at an award show - or on canvas anymore - for that matter?
Bansky on the Simpsons