Flag On Formica (Silver) Flag On Formica (Silver)

Banksy (b. ca. 1974)  is the pseudonym of the illustrious graffiti artist from Bristol, in the Southwest of England, who has managed to remain anonymous as he has risen to world-fame. Banksy often subverts classic images and includes slogans critical of war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed in his work the he still often executes in a classic street-art manner; unsanctioned and outside of the context of traditional art venues.

Burger King c. 2006 Burger King c. 2006

74 original paintings, sculptures and prints have been assembled for 'Banksy: The Unauthorized Retrospective,' curated by his agent Steve Lazarides opening at S2 in London, Sotheby's gallery devoted to private sales. In 2013 Sotheby's had consolidated sales on $6.3 billion where of $1.18 billion came from private sales, an increase of 30% from the previous year. S2 was inaugurated in 2011 with a show of work by American Abstract painter Sam Francis on York Avenue, New York and has since expanded with a second location the five-story building on 31 George Street, London. Prices for the career-spanning artworks on view range from $6.700 to $840.000, some of the early works were initially sold for $50.

Monkey Queen, 2003 Monkey Queen, 2003

Banksy began as a freehand graffiti artist in 1990–1994, inspired by the Bristol underground scene of Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D, as one of Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), with Kato and Tes.  It was during these early years that Banksy came into contact with photographer Steve Lazarides who began selling Banksy's work. Banksy had a 31-day residency during the month of October, 2013 in New York where he literally painted the city - making art work in public places each day. Banksy is an outsider artist highly involved in and part of art-world, this would be a problem if Banksy solely focused on art-world criticism however the subjects he touches upon in his work are so much wider encompassing thems such as world-politics, consumer society, freedom of speech and leadership.  His work is an important social commentary of our society today.

Guantanamo Bay Guantanamo Bay

The exhibition is designed to showcase key works throughout the artist's rise, including Bombing Middle England (2000), Monkey Queen (2001), Paranoid Pictures (2003), Pulp Fiction (2004), Kate Moss (2005), and Sunflowers from Petrol Station (2005). Many pieces have not been seen by the public before, often bought shortly after they were made. Several have only been on view in public space briefly, such as Banksus Militus Vandalus (2004), which was illegally installed in London's Natural History Museum and removed within two hours of it's installation by officials.

The gallery is expecting tens of thousands of people through its doors between beginning today until July 25.

See more Banksy on Barnebys here.

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