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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Who is Gabrielle Monique Union?

Who is Gabrielle Monique Union? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Gabrielle Union, she is an American actress and former model. Among her notable roles is her performance of the cheerleader opposite Kirsten Dunst in the film Bring It On, (2000). In 2000, she played a medical doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. In 2003, Union starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the blockbuster film Bad Boys II. Also in 2003, she starred with LL Cool J in Deliver Us from Eva. In 2008, she featured in the film Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles and Jeffrey Wright. In 2011, Union featured in an ensemble cast of the film version of Think Like a Man.

Early life

Union was born October 29, 1972  in Omaha, Nebraska, the middle child in a family of four daughters. She is the daughter of Theresa (née Glass), a former dancer, social worker, and phone company manager, and Sylvester C. Union, an AT&T manager and military sergeant. Union's early childhood years were spent as part of a rich African American community. Her large family had been in the Omaha area for many generations.[1][2][3] She was raised Catholic.[4] When Union was eight years old, she and her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended Foothill High School. In high school, Union was an all-star point guard in basketball and a year-round athlete, also playing in soccer and ran track.

Career

Union attended the University of Nebraska before moving on to Cuesta College. She eventually transferred to UCLA and earned a degree in sociology. While studying there, she interned at the Judith Fontaine Modeling & Talent Agency to earn extra academic credits. Invited by the agency's owner, Judith Fontaine, Union started working as a model to pay off college loans.[5]
Union started her acting career in minor roles. Most were in teen movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Love and Basketball. In 1997, Union appeared in the sixth-season episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – "Sons and Daughters" as the Klingon N'Garen. She also appeared in Sister, Sister as Vanessa, in Smart Guy as Denise, and in five episodes of 7th Heaven as Keesha Hamilton.
In 2000, Union landed the role of Isis in the cheerleading movie Bring it On opposite Kirsten Dunst. Bring It On helped push Union into the mainstream and she began gaining more exposure. This led to Union being cast in the CBS television drama City of Angels as Dr. Courtney Ellis.
Union was cast in her first leading role in the 2003 film Deliver Us from Eva with rapper L.L. Cool J. This was her second time working with the rapper since making a cameo in his video "Paradise" in 2002. The film received fair reviews from critics and it showed that Union was a leading lady. Union landed the role of Will Smith's character's girlfriend Syd in the film Bad Boys II, a box office success grossing over $273 million worldwide. Union starred with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx in the film Breakin' All the Rules in 2004.
Union starred in the short-lived 2005 ABC series Night Stalker. She has also starred in the independent drama films Neo Ned and Constellation, the latter of which was released to theaters. She won an award for Best Actress in Neo Ned at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, and the film received awards at several festivals.


She starred in the 2005 remake of The Honeymooners with comedian Cedric The Entertainer. In 2006, she starred as Busta Rhymes' love interest in the music video for Rhymes' "I Love My Chick". Union starred in the 2007 films Daddy's Little Girls by Tyler Perry (released on Valentine's Day) and the Christmas film The Perfect Holiday which opened on December 12.
In an interview with Art Nouveau Magazine, Union complained about the lack of roles for black actresses and actors in Hollywood: "There used to be [roles] specifically written black, if you knew Denzel was doing a movie you knew his wife, girl or love interest was going to be black [but] that’s not necessarily the case anymore. You’re in that room with every amazingly talented actress of every hue, and it’s a dogfight, it’s hard".[6]
In 2008, Union appeared on Ugly Betty for three episodes (36–38) as Renee, Wilhelmina Slater's (Vanessa L. Williams) sister and Daniel Meade's (Eric Mabius) love interest. She also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent".
She joined the cast of the U.S. television series Life on NBC and appeared in four episodes prior to the cancellation of series in May 2009.[7] She appeared in the ABC series FlashForward alongside John Cho and Joseph Fiennes as Zoey Andata, a role for which she got nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 2013, Union starred in Ava DuVernay's short film The Door as part of Miu Miu's Women's Tales campaign.[8]
In 2012, she worked with Tyler Perry on the romantic comedy Good Deeds playing the role of Natalie, the soon to be wife of Perry's character Wesley Deeds.[9] She now appears in Steve Harvey's movie Think Like A Man, another romantic comedy which is based on his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The movie debuted at No. 1 during the weekend of April 20, 2012. In 2013, she began as the star of the BET network show Being Mary Jane.[10]

Personal life

In 1992, at age 19, Union was attacked and raped[11] at her part-time job in a shoe store. Her attacker later turned himself in and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. She has since become an advocate for survivors of assault.[12] Union is an Ambassador in Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Circle of Promise.[13] She ran in the Global Race for the Cure in Washington D.C. on Saturday, June 2, 2012, in honor of her late friend [14]
Chris Howard
Kristen Martinez, who lost her battle with breast cancer.
Union met football player Chris Howard at a party in 1999. They married on May 5, 2001, and separated in October 2005.[15] The divorce was finalized in 2006. In 2009, Union began dating NBA player Dwyane Wade.[16][17] Union and Wade became engaged in December 2013.[18]

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role
1999 She's All That Katie
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Chastity
1999 H-E Double Hockey Sticks Gabrielle
2000 Love & Basketball Shawnee
2000 Bring It On Isis
2001 The Brothers Denise Johnson
2001 Two Can Play That Game Conny Spalding
2002 Welcome to Collinwood Michelle
2002 Abandon Amanda Luttrell
2003 Deliver Us from Eva Evangeline 'Eva' Dandrige
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Daria
2003 Bad Boys II Syd
2004 Something the Lord Made Clara Thomas
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Nicky Callas
2005 Neo Ned Rachael
2005 The Honeymooners Alice Kramden
2005 Say Uncle Elise Carter
2006 Running with Scissors Dorothy
2007 Constellation Carmel Boxer
2007 Daddy's Little Girls Julia
2007 The Box Det. Cris Romano
2007 The Perfect Holiday Nancy
2008 Meet Dave Number 3 – Cultural Officer
2008 Cadillac Records Geneva Wade
2010 The Van Zandt Shakedown TBA
2012 Good Deeds Natalie
2012 Think Like a Man Kristen
2012 In Our Nature Vicki
2013 Miss Dial Long Story Caller
2013 Being Mary Jane Mary Jane Paul
2014 Think Like a Man Too Kristen

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Family Matters Mall girl (uncredited) Episode: "Scenes from a Mall"
1995/96 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Hilary / Jennifer 2 episodes
1996 Moesha Ashli Episode: "Friends"
1996 Malibu Shores Shannon Everette Episode: "The Competitive Edge"
1996 Goode Behavior Tracy Monaghan 3 episodes
1996–99 7th Heaven Keesha Hamilton 5 episodes
1997 Smart Guy Lydia Episode: "Don't Do That Thing You Do"
1997 Dave's World Carly Episode: "Oh Dad, Poor Dad"
1997 Hitz Soul Episode: "The Godfather: Not the Movie"
1997 Sister, Sister Shawn / Vanessa 2 episodes
1997 City Guys Katisha Grant Episode: "The Date"
1997 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine N'Garen Episode: "Sons and Daughters"
1998 The Steve Harvey Show Naomi Parson Episode: "The He-Man, Player-Hater's Club"
1998/99 Clueless Lydia / Rebecca 2 episodes
1999 Grown Ups Felicia Episode: "Pilot"
1999 H-E Double Hockey Sticks Gabrielle Movie
2000 ER Tamara Davis Episode: "Family Matters"
2000 The Others Lindsay Episode: "Theta"
2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane Lana Episode: "Too Much Pressure"
2000 City of Angels Dr. Courtney Ellis 11 episodes
2001 Close to Home Gabby Movie
2001 Friends Kristen Leigh Episode: "The One With The Cheap Wedding Dress"
2003 The Proud Family Sunny Stevens / Iesha (voice) Episode: "Hooray for Iesha"
2004 The West Wing Meeshel Anders Episode: "The Benign Prerogative"
2004 Something the Lord Made Clara Thomas Movie
2005 Family Guy Shauna Parks (voice) Episode: "Peter's Got Woods"
2005–06 Night Stalker Perri Reed 10 episodes
2007 Football Wives Chardonnay Lane Movie
2008 Ugly Betty Renee Slater 3 episodes
2009 Life Jane Seever 4 episodes
2010 The BET Honors Herself Movie
2009–10 FlashForward Zoey Andata 9 episodes
2010 Army Wives
Episode: "Murder in Charleston"
2011 NTSF:SD:SUV Sandy Canyons Episode: "Tijuana, We've Got a Problem"
2012 Half the Sky Herself Documentary
2013 Being Mary Jane Mary Jane Paul Movie

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2001 Bring It On Black Reel Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
2002 The Brothers Nominated
2003 Bring It On MTV Awards Best Actress Nominated
2004 Deliver Us From Eva Black Reel Awards Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Bad Boys II Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Deliver Us From Eva MTV Awards Best Actress Nominated
2005 Nominated
Breakin' All the Rules Black Reel Awards Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Nominated
Something the Lord Made Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series Nominated
Breakin' All the Rules Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Something the Lord Made Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series Nominated
2009 Cadillac Records Black Reel Awards Best Ensemble Won
2006 Neo Ned Palm Beach International Film Festival Best Actress Won
2013 Think Like a Man BET Awards Nominated
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Who is Doctor Who?

Who is Doctor Who? The entertainment and syfi world knows Doctor Who as a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his TARDIS (acronym: Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a sentient time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

The show has received recognition as one of Britain's finest television programmes, winning the 2006 British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series and five consecutive (2005–2010) awards at the National Television Awards during Russell T Davies's tenure as executive producer.[2][3] In 2011, Matt Smith became the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Best Actor. In 2013, the Peabody Awards honoured Doctor Who with an Institutional Peabody "for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe."[4] The programme is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world[5] and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time—based on its over-all broadcast ratings, DVD and book sales, and iTunes traffic.[6]

During its original run, it was recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects, and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop).
The show is a significant part of British popular culture;[7][8] and elsewhere it has become a cult television favourite. The show has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series.[9] The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. After an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot in the form of a television film, the programme was relaunched in 2005 by Russell T Davies who was showrunner and head writer for the first five years of its revival, produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff. Series 1 in the 21st century, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the ninth incarnation, was produced by the BBC. Series 2 and 3 had some development money contributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which was credited as a co-producer.[10] Doctor Who also spawned spin-offs in multiple media, including Torchwood (2006–11) and The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–11), both created by Russell T Davies; K-9 (2009–10), the four-part video series P.R.O.B.E. (1994–96), and a single pilot episode of K-9 and Company (1981). There also have been many spoofs and cultural references of the character in other media.

Eleven actors have headlined the series as the Doctor. The transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show as regeneration, a life process of Time Lords through which the character of the Doctor takes on a new body and, to some extent, new personality, which occurs after sustaining injury which would be fatal to most other species. Although each portrayal of the Doctor is different, and on occasions the various incarnations have even met one another, they are all meant to be aspects of the same character. The Doctor as of 2013 is portrayed by Matt Smith, who took up the role after David Tennant's last appearance.[11] On 1 June 2013, it was announced that Matt Smith would leave the series and the eleventh Doctor would regenerate in the 2013 Christmas special.[12] On 4 August 2013, Peter Capaldi was announced as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor.[13]

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Who is Kandi Burruss?

Who is'Kandi, she  is an American singer-songwriter, actress, record producer, and television personality. She is also a former member of the group Xscape from Atlanta.

Kandi Burruss? The music and entertainment world knows her

Early life

Kandi Burruss was born on May 17, 1976 in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up the youngest of two. Kandi has stated she was definitely a daddy's girl before her father left the family when she was 4. Kandi was very close to her brother Patrick, who was older by 7 1/2 years and later died in a car accident when Kandi was a young teenager. Her first major appearance, on BET's Teen Summit, introduced her to the public and helped launch her career. Kandi attended Tri- Cities High School in East Point, Georgia.

Career

Songwriting

After the disbanding of Xscape, Burruss began to focus on production and songwriting. In 1999, Burruss teamed with bandmate Tameka "Tiny" Cottle to score the international number one hit "No Scrubs" for TLC. The single received a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, MTV Video Music Award, Billboard Music Award and Soul Train Music Award. That same year, Burruss scored a hit for Destiny's Child on their second album, "The Writing's on the Wall". "Bills, Bills, Bills", also topped the Billboard "Hot 100" chart & was followed by their second single "Bug a Boo", also penned by Burruss. Kandi would go on to work with then newcomer Pink by co-writing her debut single "There You Go" off Pink's debut album "Can't Take Me Home".
Burruss was the first African-American woman ever to win ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year award in 2000. She won for Songwriter of the year in the Rhythm & Soul category.[1][2][3][4] She won for songwriting credits such as Destiny Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills" and TLC's "No Scrubs."
Kandi's writing credits continued to grow by penning for the likes of Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Boyz II Men, Da Brat, NSYNC, N-Toon, Solo, Usher, Fantasia, Mýa, Joe, MC Lyte and Whitney Houston.
Kandi has since rewritten and executive produced "Tardy for the Party" for Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kim Zolciak's debut album. The song was made available to iTunes on September 1, 2009.

Kandi Koated and Reality Television (2009–present)

In early 2006, Kandi began work on her second album. The first single, "I Need", was a promotional single only. It featured rap duo 8Ball and MJG. Another song, "Keep It Gangsta" featuring rapper Lil Scrappy, was also set to appear on the album, although it was never released as a promo single.
Failing to generate any buzz, plans for the new album were temporarily put on hold. Burruss then teamed with Atlanta female rapper Rasheeda to form the duo Peach Candy, signed to D-Lo Entertainment. Their first single, titled "Bam", got little airplay and plans for this album were also put on hold. PeachCandy EP was released on iTunes with a 5-track lineup.
In 2009, Kandi joined the second season of the Bravo reality series, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and went back to work on her second album, then titled B.L.O.G.. Her debut EP, the Fly Above EP, was released on October 29, 2009. The album will be released on her own record label, Kandi Koated Entertainment, and possibly Capitol Records, although the EP will only be released on Kandi Koated Entertainment. The album is confirmed to feature appearances from artists such as Rick Ross, Rasheeda, Gucci Mane and possibly Missy Elliott. Despite speculation that the lead single would be either "I Like Him" featuring Rick Ross and Rasheeda or "Trade Him In" featuring Gucci Mane, the lead single, "Fly Above", was released on October 6, 2009. It was later dubbed a promo single. Kandi signed a record deal with Asylum Records in early 2010[5] and released her second album, Kandi Koated, on December 14, 2010. The lead single "Leave U" debuted at #89 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Kandi also made a cameo appearance along with Atlanta producer Jermaine Dupri on the first episode in the new television series, Single Ladies.
Kandi is now working on her music and Bravo has greenlit her new reality show, The Kandi Factory. "The Kandi Factory will capture a unique look at her successful music career as Kandi transforms two music hopefuls into the next big pop star.".[6] She is also running a sex toy company called Bedroom Kandi.

Personal life

Burruss and ex-boyfriend Russell "Block" Spencer of Block Entertainment had a daughter named Riley Spencer[7] on August 22, 2002.[8]
Ashley "A.J." Jewell
In late 2008, Kandi began a relationship with Ashley "A.J." Jewell and after dating several months, the couple became engaged to be married in January 2009. But on October 22, after sustaining head injuries in a brawl Jewell died [9]
Todd Tucker
Kandi and three of her friends started a "sex and relationship" webshow on Ustream titled Kandi Koated Nights. They have had numerous guests, including Katt Stacks, Tionna T. Smalls, Grand Hustle, Jazze Pha, Young Joc. The show began to air on television beginning in 2011.[10]
On January 15, 2013, Kandi announced via Twitter that she is engaged to Todd Tucker, a line producer for The Real Housewives of Atlanta, whom she has been dating since 2011 while filming for the series' fourth season. Several season 5 episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta showed and discussed the house Kandi and Todd bought and moved into together.[11]

Discography

Awards

Grammy
ASCAP
  • 2000
    • Songwriter of the Year (Rhythm & Soul) for "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "No Scrubs" (Won)







 

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who is Banksy?

Tristan Manco AKA Banksy
Who is Banksy? The world knows him as Tristan Manco. Banksy is a pseudonymous name for him he is a graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter who is based in the United Kingdom.
His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.[1]
Banksy's work was made up of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.[2] According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England.[3] The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s."[4] Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris, Jef Aerosol, who sprayed his first street stencil in 1982 in Tours (France), and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[5][6] However, Banksy says he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of Massive Attack.[7]
Known for his contempt for the government in labelling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls, even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.[8] Banksy's first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie," made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[9] The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010.[10] In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film.

Career

Early career (1992–2001)

Banksy began as a freehand graffiti artist in 1990–1994[11] as one of Bristol's DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), with Kato and Tes.[12] He was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene with Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D.[13][14] During this time he met Bristol photographer Steve Lazarides, who began selling Banksy's work, later becoming his agent.[15] From the start Banksy used stencils as elements of his freehand pieces, too.[11] By 2000 he had turned to the art of stencilling after realising how much less time it took to complete a work. He claims he changed to stencilling while he was hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when he noticed the stencilled serial number[16] and by employing this technique, he soon became more widely noticed for his art around Bristol and London.[16] He played football with the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls in the 1990s and toured with the club to Mexico in 2001.[17]


Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects often include rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.
In July 2011 one of Banksy's early works, Gorilla in a Pink Mask, which had been a prominent landmark on the exterior wall of a former social club in Eastville for over ten years, was unknowingly painted over after the premises became a Muslim cultural centre.[19][20]

Exhibitions (2002–2003)

On 19 June 2002, Banksy's first Los Angeles exhibition debuted at 33 Gallery, a tiny Silver Lake venue owned by Frank Sosa. The exhibition, entitled Existencilism, was curated by 33 Gallery, Malathion LA's Chris Vargas, Funk Lazy Promotions' Grace Jehan, and B+.[21]
In 2003, at an exhibition called Turf War, held in a warehouse, Banksy painted on animals. Although the RSPCA declared the conditions suitable, an animal rights activist chained herself to the railings in protest.[22] He later moved on to producing subverted paintings;[citation needed] one example is Monet's Water Lily Pond, adapted to include urban detritus such as litter and a shopping trolley floating in its reflective waters; another is Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, redrawn to show that the characters are looking at a British football hooligan, dressed only in his Union Flag underpants, who has just thrown an object through the glass window of the cafe. These oil paintings were shown at a twelve-day exhibition in Westbourne Grove,

£10 notes to Barely Legal (2004–2006)

In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes substituting the picture of the Queen's head with Diana, Princess of Wales's head and changing the text "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England." Someone threw a large wad of these into a crowd at Notting Hill Carnival that year, which some recipients then tried to spend in local shops. These notes were also given with invitations to a Santa's Ghetto exhibition by Pictures on Walls. The individual notes have since been selling on eBay for about £200 each. A wad of the notes were also thrown over a fence and into the crowd near the NME signing tent at The Reading Festival. A limited run of 50 signed posters containing ten uncut notes were also produced and sold by Pictures on Walls for £100 each to commemorate the death of Princess Diana. One of these sold in October 2007 at Bonhams auction house in London for £24,000.

In August 2005, Banksy, on a trip to the Palestinian territories, created nine images on the Israeli West Bank wall.[24]
Banksy held an exhibition called Barely Legal, billed as a "three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza" in Los Angeles, on the weekend of 16 September 2006. The exhibition featured a live "elephant in a room," painted in a pink and gold floral wallpaper pattern, which, according to leaflets handed out at the exhibition, was intended to draw attention to the issue of world poverty. Although the Animal Services Department had issued a permit for the elephant, after complaints from animal rights activists, the elephant appeared unpainted on the final day. Its owners rejected claims of mistreatment and said that the elephant had done "many, many movies. She's used to makeup."[25] Banksy also made artwork displaying Queen Victoria as a lesbian and satirical pieces that incorporated art made by Andy Warhol and Leonardo da Vinci.[26]

The Banksy effect (2006–2007)

After Christina Aguilera bought an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two prints for £25,000,[28] on 19 October 2006, a set of Kate Moss paintings sold in Sotheby's London for £50,400, setting an auction record for Banksy's work. The six silk-screen prints, featuring the model painted in the style of Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe pictures, sold for five times their estimated value. His stencil of a green Mona Lisa with real paint dripping from her eyes sold for £57,600 at the same auction.[29] In December, journalist Max Foster coined the phrase, "the Banksy effect," to illustrate how interest in other street artists was growing on the back of Banksy's success.[30]


On 21 February 2007, Sotheby's auction house in London auctioned three works, reaching the highest ever price for a Banksy work at auction: over £102,000 for his Bombing Middle England. Two of his other graffiti works, Balloon Girl and Bomb Hugger, sold for £37,200 and £31,200 respectively, which were well above their estimated prices.[32] The following day's auction saw a further three Banksy works reach soaring prices: Ballerina with Action Man Parts reached £96,000; Glory sold for £72,000; Untitled (2004) sold for £33,600; all significantly above estimated values.[33] To coincide with the second day of auctions, Banksy updated his website with a new image of an auction house scene showing people bidding on a picture that said, "I Can't Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit."[34] In February 2007, the owners of a house with a Banksy mural on the side in Bristol decided to sell the house through Red Propeller art gallery after offers fell through because the prospective buyers wanted to remove the mural. It is listed as a mural that comes with a house attached.[35] In 2008, Nathan Wellard and Maev Neal, a couple from Norfolk, UK, made headlines in Britain when they decided to sell their mobile home that contains a 30-foot mural, entitled Fragile Silence, done by Banksy a decade prior to his rise to fame. According to Nathan Wellard, Banksy had asked the couple if he could use the side of their home as a "large canvas," to which they agreed. In return for the "canvas", the Bristol stencil artist gave them two free tickets to the Glastonbury Music Festival [1]. The mobile home purchased by the couple 11 years ago for 1,000 GBP, is now being sold for 500,000 GBP.[36]
In April 2007, Transport for London painted over Banksy's iconic image of a scene from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, featuring Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns. Although the image was very popular, Transport for London claimed that the "graffiti" created "a general atmosphere of neglect and social decay which in turn encourages crime" and their staff are "professional cleaners not professional art critics."[37] Banksy tagged the same site again and, initially, the actors were portrayed as holding real guns instead of bananas, but they were adorned with banana costumes. Some time later, Banksy made a tribute artwork over this second Pulp Fiction work. The tribute was for 19-year-old British graffiti artist Ozone who, along with fellow artist Wants, was hit by an underground train in Barking, East London on 12 January 2007.[38] Banksy depicted an angel wearing a bullet-proof vest holding a skull (pictured below left). He also wrote a note on his website saying:

On 27 April 2007, a new record high for the sale of Banksy's work was set with the auction of the work Space Girl & Bird fetching £288,000 (US$576,000) around 20 times the estimate at Bonhams of London.[40] On 21 May 2007 Banksy gained the award for Art's Greatest living Briton. Banksy, as expected, did not turn up to collect his award and continued with his notoriously anonymous status. On 4 June 2007, it was reported that Banksy's The Drinker had been stolen.[41][42] In October 2007, most of his works offered for sale at Bonhams auction house in London sold for more than twice their reserve price.[43]



Banksy has published a "manifesto" on his website.[44] The text of the manifesto is credited as the diary entry of one Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin, DSO, which is exhibited in the Imperial War Museum. It describes how a shipment of lipstick to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp immediately after its liberation at the end of World War II helped the internees regain their humanity. However, as of 18 January 2008, Banksy's Manifesto has been substituted with Graffiti Heroes No.03 that describes Peter Chappell's graffiti quest of the 1970s that worked to free George Davis of his imprisonment.[44] By 12 August 2009 he was relying on Emo Philips' "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness." A small number of Banksy's works can be seen in the movie Children of Men, including a stenciled image of two policemen kissing and another stencil of a child looking down a shop.
Banksy, who "is not represented by any of the commercial galleries that sell his work second hand (including Lazarides Ltd, Andipa Gallery, Bank Robber, Dreweatts etc),"[45] claims that the exhibition at Vanina Holasek Gallery in New York City (his first major exhibition in that city) is unauthorised. The exhibition featured 62 of his paintings and prints.[46]

2008

In March, a stencilled graffiti work appeared on Thames Water tower in the middle of the Holland Park roundabout, and it was widely attributed to Banksy. It was of a child painting the tag "Take this—Society!" in bright orange. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham spokesman, Councillor Greg Smith branded the art as vandalism, and ordered its immediate removal, which was carried out by H&F council workmen within three days.[47]



In late August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster.[48] A stencil painting attributed to Banksy appeared at a vacant petrol station in the Ensley neighbourhood of Birmingham, Alabama on 29 August as Hurricane Gustav approached the New Orleans area. The painting depicting a hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan hanging from a noose was quickly covered with black spray paint and later removed altogether.[49] His first official exhibition in New York City, the "Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill," opened 5 October 2008. The animatronic pets in the store window include a mother hen watching over her baby Chicken McNuggets as they peck at a barbecue sauce packet, and a rabbit putting makeup on in a mirror.[50]

The Westminster City Council stated in October 2008 that the work "One Nation Under CCTV," painted in April 2008 would be painted over as it was graffiti. The council said it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and specifically stated that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child." Robert Davis, the chairman of the council planning committee told The Times newspaper: "If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art."[51] The work was painted over in April 2009. In December 2008, The Little Diver, a Banksy image of a diver in a duffle coat in Melbourne Australia was destroyed. The image had been protected by a sheet of clear perspex, however silver paint was poured behind the protective sheet and later tagged with the words "Banksy woz ere." The image was almost completely obliterated.[52]

The Cans Festival

Over the weekend 3–5 May in London, Banksy hosted an exhibition called The Cans Festival. It was situated on Leake Street, a road tunnel formerly used by Eurostar underneath London Waterloo station. Graffiti artists with stencils were invited to join in and paint their own artwork, as long as it did not cover anyone else's.[53] Artists included Blek le Rat, Broken Crow, C215, Cartrain, Dolk, Dotmasters, J.Glover, Ben Eine, Eelus, Hero, Pure evil, Jef Aérosol, Mr Brainwash, Tom Civil Roadsworth and Sten & Lex.
Banksy invited thirty-nine artists from around the world, including Sten Lex, Bsas Stencil, Prism, Roadsworth, Blek, C215, Dotmasters, Hero, Sadhu, Lucamaleonte, Faile, Logan Hicks, Btoy, Vhils, Vexta and John Grider exhibited their works in an abandoned tunnel near Leake Street in South East London.[54]
The festival's name is a play on the famous French film extravaganza The Cannes Film Festival.

2009

In May 2009, Banksy parted company with agent Steve Lazarides and announced that Pest Control,[55] the handling service who act on his behalf, would be the only point of sale for new works. On 13 June 2009, the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show opened at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, featuring more than 100 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet, featuring 78 new works.[56][57] Reaction to the show was positive, with over 8,500 visitors to the show on the first weekend.[58] Over the course of the twelve weeks, the exhibition was visited over 300,000 times.[59] In September 2009, a Banksy work parodying the Royal Family was partially destroyed by Hackney Council after they served an enforcement notice for graffiti removal to the former address of the property owner. The mural had been commissioned for the 2003 Blur single "Crazy Beat" and the property owner, who had allowed it to be painted, was reported to have been in tears when she saw it was being painted over.[60] In December 2009, Banksy marked the end of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference by painting four murals on global warming. One included the phrase, "I don't believe in global warming;" the words were submerged in water.[61] A feud and graffiti war between Banksy and King Robbo broke out when Banksy allegedly painted over one of Robbo's tags. The feud has led to many of Banksy's works being altered by graffiti writers.[62]

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

The world premiere of the film Exit Through the Gift Shop occurred at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on 24 January. He created 10 street artworks around Park City and Salt Lake City to tie in with the screening.[63] In February, The Whitehouse public house in Liverpool, England, was sold for £114,000 at auction. The side of the building has an image of a giant rat by Banksy.[64] In March 2010, the work "Forgive us our Trespassing" was displayed in the London underground. The work had to be displayed without the halo over the boy's head. After a few days the halo was repainted and the poster was removed by Tube advertising bosses. The display was organised by Art Below, a London based public art agency. In April 2010, Melbourne City Council in Australia reported that they had inadvertently ordered private contractors to paint over the last remaining Banksy art in the city. The image was of a rat descending in a parachute adorning the wall of an old council building behind the Forum Theatre.[This report was false as the image was destroyed by plumbers in May 2012 and received a decent amount of local press] In 2008, vandals had poured paint over a stencil of an old-fashioned diver wearing a trenchcoat. A council spokeswoman has said they would now rush through retrospective permits to protect other "famous or significant artworks" in the city.[65] In April 2010, to coincide with the premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop in San Francisco, five of his works appeared in various parts of the city.[66] Banksy reportedly paid a San Francisco Chinatown building owner $50 for the use of their wall for one of his stencils.[67] In early May 2010, seven new Banksy works of art appeared in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,[68] though most have been subsequently painted over or removed. In May 2010, to coincide with the premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop in Royal Oak, Banksy visited the Detroit area and left his mark in several places in Detroit and Warren.[69] Shortly after, his work depicting a little boy holding a can of red paint next to the words "I remember when all this was trees" was excavated by the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios. They claim that they do not intend to sell the work but plan to preserve it and display it at their Detroit gallery.[70] There was also an attempted removal of one of the Warren works known as "Diamond Girl."[71]
In late January 2011, Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for a 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.[72] Banksy released a statement about the nomination, where he said, "This is a big surprise… I don't agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me."[73] Leading up to the Oscars, Banksy blanketed Los Angeles with street art. Many people speculated if Banksy would show up at the Oscars in disguise and make a surprise appearance if he won the Oscar. Exit Through the Gift Shop did not win the award, which went to Inside Job. In early March 2011, Banksy responded to the Oscars with an artwork in Weston, UK, of a little girl holding the Oscar and pouting. Many people think that it is in reference to 15-month old Lara, who dropped and damaged her father's (The King's Speech co-producer Simon Egan) Oscar statue.[74] Exit Through the Gift Shop was broadcast on British public television station Channel 4 on 13 August 2011.
Banksy was also credited with the opening couch gag for the 2010 The Simpsons episode "MoneyBART," depicting people working in deplorable conditions and using endangered or mythical animals to make both the episodes cel-by-cel and the merchandise connected with the program.[75] His name appears several times throughout the episode's opening sequence, spray-painted on assorted walls and signs. Fox sanitised parts of the opening "for taste" and to make it less grim. In January 2011, Banksy published the original storyboard on its website.[76] According to Banksy, the storyboard "led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department." Executive director Al Jean jokingly said, "This is what you get when you outsource."[75]
The work 'Forgive us our Trespassing' by Banksy was displayed in March 2010 at London Bridge in conjunction with Art Below an arts company that put on art shows on the London Underground. The work was censored by the Transport for London (TfL), forbidding display of the work with its halo, because of the prevalence of graffiti in the underground.[77] It was displayed without the halo over the boy's head, but after a few days the halo was repainted by a tagger, so the TfL disposed of the poster. This decline went through the press and several articles were published remarking on the progress of the poster.[77][78]

2011

In May 2011 Banksy released a lithographic print which showed a smoking petrol bomb contained in a 'Tesco Value' bottle. This followed a long running campaign by locals against the opening of a Tesco Express supermarket in Banksy's home city of Bristol. Violent clashes had taken place between police and demonstrators in the Stokes Croft area. Banksy produced the poster ostensibly to raise money for local groups in the Stokes Croft area and to raise money for the legal defence of those arrested during the riots. The posters were sold exclusively at the Bristol Anarchists Bookfair in Stokes Croft for £5 each.
In December, he unveiled "Cardinal Sin" at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The bust, which replaces a priest's face with a "pixelated" effect, was a statement on the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.[79]

2012

In May 2012 his Parachuting Rat, painted in Melbourne in the late 1990s, was accidentally destroyed by plumbers installing new pipes.[80]

2013

On 18 February, BBC News reported that a recent Banksy mural, known as the Slave Labour mural portraying a young child sewing Union Flag bunting (created around the time of the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II) had been removed from the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green, north London, and soon appeared for sale in Fine Art Auctions Miami's catalogue (a US auction site based in Florida). News of this has reportedly caused "lots of anger" in the local community and is considered by some to be a theft. Fine Art Auctions Miami has rejected claims of theft, saying it had signed a contract with a "well-known collector" and that "everything was above board"; despite this, the local Councillor for Wood Green is campaigning for the work's return.[81]
On the scheduled day of the auction, Fine Art Auctions Miami announced that it had withdrawn the work of art from the sale.[82]
On 11 May, BBC News reports that the same Banksy mural is up for auction again in Covent Garden by the Sincura Group. The auction is scheduled to take place in June. It is expected to fetch up to £450,000.[83]
On 24 September, after over a year since his previous piece, a new Banksy mural went up on his website along with the subtitle 'Better Out Than In'.

Better Out Than In (2013)

On 1 October Banksy began a one-month "show on the streets of New York [City]", for which he opened a separate website[84] and granted an interview to The Village Voice via his publicist.[85]
A pop-up boutique of about 25 spray-art canvases on Fifth Avenue near Central Park Saturday on 12 October. Tourists were able to buy Banksy art for just $60 each. In a note posted to his website, the artist wrote: "Please note this was a one-off. The stall will not be there again." The BBC estimated that the street-stall art pieces could be worth as much as $31,000. The booth was manned by an unknown elderly gent who went about four hours before making a sale, yawning and eating lunch as people strolled by without a second glance at the work. Banksy chronicled the surprise sale in a video posted to his website noting, "Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each."[86][87][88]
On 17 October, a real boy shining the shoes of a gigantic Ronald McDonald appeared in front of McDonalds and the press reported that the NYPD's vandal squad is on the hunt for the Banksy after racking up 16 installments across the city.[89][90][91] His most recent creation was a fiberglass sculpture of a boy shining the oversized shoes of Ronald McDonald, which was unveiled in Queens but will be moved outside a different McDonald's around the city every day. This art is unique because of the Live Shoeshine by the boy sitting at the feet of the Ronald McDonald Statue who is dressed in ragged cloths and is barefoot.[92][93][94][95]

Notable artworks


Regarding personal fame, Banksy has stated that "We don't need any more heroes; we just need someone to take out the recycling."[97] However, in addition to his artwork, Banksy has claimed responsibility for a number of high profile artworks, including the following:
  • At London Zoo, he climbed into the penguin enclosure and painted "We're bored of fish" in 7-foot-high (2.1 m) letters.[98]
  • At Bristol Zoo, he left the message "I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring." in the elephant enclosure.[99]
  • In March 2005, he placed subverted artworks in the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan as well as the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn.[100]
  • In May 2005 Banksy's version of a primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife while pushing a shopping trolley was hung in gallery 49 of the British Museum, London.[101]
  • In August 2005, Banksy painted nine images on the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a ladder going up and over the wall and an image of children digging a hole through the wall.[24][102][103][104]
  • In October 2005, Banksy designed 6 station ID's for Nickelodeon.[105]
  • In April 2006, Banksy created a sculpture based on a crumpled red phone box with a pickaxe in its side, apparently bleeding, and placed it in a side street in Soho, London. It was later removed by Westminster Council."[106]
  • In June 2006, Banksy created an image of a naked man hanging out of a bedroom window on a wall visible from Park Street in central Bristol. The image sparked "a heated debate",[107] with the Bristol City Council leaving it up to the public to decide whether it should stay or go.[108] After an internet discussion in which 97% of the 500 people surveyed supported the stencil, the city council decided it would be left on the building.[107] The mural was later defaced with blue paint.[109]
  • In August/September 2006, Banksy placed up to 500 copies of Paris Hilton's debut CD, Paris, in 48 different UK record stores with his own cover art and remixes by Danger Mouse. Music tracks were given titles such as "Why Am I Famous?", "What Have I Done?" and "What Am I For?". Several copies of the CD were purchased by the public before stores were able to remove them, some going on to be sold for as much as £750 on online auction websites such as eBay. The cover art depicted Hilton digitally altered to appear topless. Other pictures feature her with her chihuahua Tinkerbell's head replacing her own, and one of her stepping out of a luxury car, edited to include a group of homeless people, which included the caption "90% of success is just showing up."[110][111][112]
  • In September 2006, Banksy dressed an inflatable doll in the manner of a Guantanamo Bay detainment camp prisoner (orange jumpsuit, black hood, and handcuffs) and then placed the figure within the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California.[113][114]
  • He makes stickers (the Neighbourhood Watch subvert) and was responsible for the cover art of Blur's 2003 album Think Tank.
  • In September 2007, Banksy covered a wall in Portobello Road with a French artist painting graffiti of Banksy's name.[115]
  • In July 2012, in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic games he created several pieces based upon this event. One included an image of an athlete throwing a missile instead of Javelin, evidently taking a poke at the Surface to Air missile sites positioned in the Stratford area to defend the games.[116][117]

Technique

Stencils are traditionally hand drawn or printed onto sheets of acetate or card, before being cut out by hand. Because of the secretive nature of Banksy's work and identity, it is uncertain what techniques he uses to generate the images in his stencils, though it is assumed he uses computers for some images due to the photocopy nature of much of his work.
He mentions in his book, Wall and Piece, that as he was starting to do graffiti, he was always too slow and was either caught or could never finish the art in one sitting. So he devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour.
There is dispute in the street art world over the legitimacy of stencils, with many artists criticising their use as "cheating."[119]

Political and social themes

Banksy once characterised graffiti as a form of underclass "revenge", or guerilla warfare that allows an individual to snatch away power, territory and glory from a bigger and better equipped enemy.[27] Banksy sees a social class component to this struggle, remarking "If you don't own a train company then you go and paint on one instead."[27] Banksy's work has also shown a desire to mock centralised power, hoping that his work will show the public that although power does exist and works against you, that power is not terribly efficient and it can and should be deceived.[27]
Banksy's works have dealt with an array of political and social themes, including anti-War, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism. Additionally, the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair, absurdity, and alienation.[121] Although Banksy's works usually rely on visual imagery and iconography to put forth his message, he has made several politically related comments in his various books. In summarising his list of "people who should be shot," he listed "Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, (and) people who write lists telling you who should be shot."[122] While facetiously describing his political nature, Banksy declared that "Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world, I can't even finish my second apple pie."[123]

Identity

There have been numerous rumours and hypotheses as to Banksy's identity. Names often suggested include Robert Banks and Robin Gunningham.[124][125]
In 2004, an alleged photograph of him in Jamaica at the Two-Culture Clash Project surfaced. In October 2007, a story on the BBC website featured a photo allegedly taken by a passer-by in Bethnal Green, London, purporting to show Banksy at work with an assistant, scaffolding and a truck. The story confirms that Tower Hamlets Council in London has decided to treat all Banksy works as vandalism and remove them.[126] Through the pictures, Banksy's identity was speculated to be Robin Gunningham, a man born in Bristol on 28 July 1973. Gunningham was educated at Bristol Cathedral Choir School and Leicester Polytechnic, now De Montfort University, and according to a former friend, was "extremely talented at art." Gunningham lived with artist Luke Egan. Around 2000, when Banksy moved from Bristol to London, Gunningham is known to have moved from Bristol to a London flat in Hackney, and a number of Banksy's most famous works appeared nearby. At that time, Gunningham lived with Jamie Eastman, who worked for a record label that used illustrations by Banksy.[124][127][128]
In May 2009, the Mail on Sunday once again speculated about Gunningham being Banksy after a "self-portrait" of a rat holding a sign with the face of the man on the 2004 photo shot on it was photographed in East London.[129] This "new Banksy rat" story was also picked up by The Times[130] and the Evening Standard.
In response to reports that Banksy was Robin Gunningham, Banksy's agent refused to either confirm or deny the reports.[131]
Simon Hattenstone from The Guardian is one of the very few people to have interviewed him face to face. Hattenstone describes him as "a cross of Jimmy Nail and British rapper Mike Skinner" and "a 28-year old male who showed up wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a silver tooth, silver chain, and one silver earring."[132] In the same interview, Banksy claimed that his parents think he is a painter and decorator.[132]
Banksy himself states on his website:

Critics

Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, asserts that Banksy's work is simple vandalism,[134] and Diane Shakespeare, an official for the same organisation, was quoted as saying: "We are concerned that Banksy's street art glorifies what is essentially vandalism."[34] In his column for The Guardian, satirist Charlie Brooker wrote of Banksy "…his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots."[135]
He has also been long criticised for copying the work of Blek le Rat, creator of the life-sized stencil technique in early 1980s Paris. Blek's own response to such criticism has been varied. He has expressed pleasure at being an inspiration to "an artist that good,"[6] and in early 2011 was seen adding to a mural initiated by Banksy in San Francisco.[136]
However, Blek expressed a different perspective later that same year, in the documentary Graffiti Wars, stating:

Bibliography

Banksy has self-published several books that contain photographs of his work in various countries as well as some of his canvas work and exhibitions, accompanied by his own writings:
Random House published Wall and Piece in 2005. It contains a combination of images from his three previous books, as well as some new material. The book was a best seller in the arts category for several years after its release.[138]
Books about his work, authored by others:














 
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