Banksy is commonly known as a graffiti artist, film maker, and political activist who lives in the United Kingdom. His street art, which have been exhibited on various bridges, streets, and walls in towns all around the world, has provided a sense of dark comedy towards people who have come across it. Banksy’s identity is currently unknown to this day, and it might stay so for the time being. His most recent works included a temporary art piece titled “Dismaland,” and the artwork was auctioned among artists like KAWS and Mr. Brainwash at Paddle8.
A few years ago, as speculations of Banksy’s true identity continue to arise, a photograph purporting to show the mysterious graffiti artist completing one of his pieces in Bethlehem surfaced across the internet. The what looked to be a middle-aged man in the shot was wearing grey cargo shorts with the same color of fleece and was holding an aerosol can and a stencil while wearing an unique fedora hat. In the photograph, the man can be seen looking over his shoulder in a courtyard near the Milk Grotto Chapel, a sacred place in the old town. The stenciled work that also appears on the homepage of Banksy’s official website reads “Peace on Earth ‘Terms and Conditions May Apply’.”
Being one of the most mysterious artists and painters in the world of art, Banksy has gained international recognition owing to his anonymity. The well-known street artist’s work has been seen all over the globe, with one recent auction collecting more than $20 million USD. However, the reclusive figure may be forced to emerge from the shadows in order for him to obtain ownership of his own artworks.
The Intellectual Property Office of the European Union recently deprived the masked artist of his trademark rights to his own pieces, according to The Telegraph, citing his unwillingness to reveal his name. His trademark registration was then filed in “poor faith,” according to the panel, and his “identification cannot be legally ascertained,” which has prevented him to be protected under copyright regulations.
The pieces in question, according to one source, were “Radar Rat” and the “Girl with Umbrella.” Full Color Black, which is a UK greeting card firm that reproduced Banksy’s artworks for their own use in some of their products, convinced the EU office to revoke Banksy’s trademark license. The artist then apparently lost his right to four of his artworks, including “Laugh Now” and “Flower Thrower.”