Banksy, a street artist whose identity remains unknown, is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around the early 1970s. He started out as a street artist in the early 90s, collaborating with several artist and musicians in the Bristol Underground Scene. His rise to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces occurred in the late 1990s.
Banksy's artwork is instantly recognisable through the use of dark humour, political and social commentary and his distinctive style of using stencils. His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. He is also known for his use of copyrighted material and subversion of classic images. An example of this is Banksy's version of Monet's famous series of water lilies paintings, adapted by Banksy to include drifting trash and debris.