Guerilla artist Banksy uses his work to criticise corporations for their globalisation of mainstream culture.
Tesco, McDonalds and Disney are just some of the many multinationals to have experienced the Banksy treatment by having their logos satirically juxtaposed with an image of poverty or terror.
The elusive Bristolian portrays himself as a modern day anti-hero by critiquing the perceived ills of twenty-first century society through graffiti art, books, Banksy prints and now feature-length films.
Banksy believes that by creating graffiti on urban landscapes, he is bringing art to an audience who would otherwise not engage with exclusive exhibitions or pretentious galleries.
He told Billy Bliss: “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…”
The guerrilla artist’s subversive take on society has proved a huge hit with the public and most notably major celebrities such as Hollywood actor Brad Pitt and pop star Christina Aguilera.
Aguilera famously bought a controversial painting which depicted Queen Victoria as a lesbian, which was a nod to the fact the monarch refused to recognise homosexuality in women.
The commercial success of Banksy prints allows the artist to travel the world and create political works highlighting issues in post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans, the Barcelona Zoo and the West Bank barrier separating Palestine from Israel.
In 2005, Banksy painted nine images on the West Bank barrier, including a picture of a ladder scaling the wall and children digging a hole through the barrier.
Although Banksy has never revealed his identity, The Mail On Sunday claimed to have unveiled him as a former public school pupil called Robin Gunningham, while other sources have named the artist Robin Banks.
Banksy told Swindle that he had no plans to go public with his real identity because he was not interested in fame or fashion.
He said: “I obviously have issues with the cops. And besides, it’s a pretty safe bet that the reality of me would be a crushing disappointment to a couple of 15-year-old kids out there.”
Five Banksy prints worth an estimated combined value of £14,000 are on display in an outsider art exhibition at Liverpool’s Corke Gallery.