Bristol Born Banksy Timeline of Work
Banksy is probably Bristol’s most well-known (or least well-known depending on how you look at it) celebrity and artist. For decades his identity has been carefully concealed but almost everyone knows his work.
Banksy emerged onto the scene in the late 1990s when a few works caught the attention. These included The Mild Mild West, Severnshed and Lenin Punk, the latter appearing on the wall outside a Bristol public toilet.
It wasn’t until 2001, however, that more works began to appear and he started to attract media attention not just here in the UK but around the world.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Banksy offered support for the 4 activists charged with destroying the Colston statue in Bristol, creating a t-shirt range that featured a drawing of the empty pedestal. Money from sales were put towards legal bills and the activists were later found not guilty.
2001 marked a turning point for Banksy, bringing his work into the public consciousness and attracting media focus. The works from this year included:
- Twin Towers: This appeared in Brooklyn following the 9/11 attacks, a silhouette of the twin towers with an orange flower added to symbolise the explosion.
- Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall: Every so often Banksy publishes a book and this one contained some of his most memorable works to date along with a few of his musings.
- Easton Cowboys: Banksy loves his football and joined the Easton Cowboys for a tour of Mexico in 2001, using the time to post a few stencils and freehand drawings around the capital city.
- Rivington Street: One of Banksy’s first outdoor exhibitions, this included 12 new stencils.
- Choose Your Weapon: The young man walking his dog is one of the enduring Banksy images. Here the dog was a white silhouette and the walker a disgruntled, hooded and masked youth.
- Girl with Balloon: Perhaps one of Banksy’s iconic works, this includes a girl in black and white with a red balloon that appeared at Waterloo Bridge in London.
- Laugh Now: The image appeared as a print with a monkey wearing a sign that says ‘Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge’.
- Santa’s Ghetto 02: Banksy set up the art concept store in 2002 and the first edition took place in Shoreditch in London. This would be repeated over subsequent years.
2003 marked the beginning of the Iraq War and it’s no surprise that Banksy’s focus was on this.
- Bomb Hugger: Banksy is never one to shy away from political statements. This mural in East London shows a girl hugging a bomb.
- Ice Cream Bomb: This shows another girl holding a bomb hidden in an ice cream appeared in Brighton, reflecting the public unease with the growing prospect of war in Iraq.
- Thekla: More doom and gloom followed with the grim reaper rowing a boat above the water on the side of a canalside nightclub.
- Bomb Middle England: These limited edition prints showed a group of middle-class women playing bowls with bombs.
- Golf Sale: Another group of limited prints shows a Tiananmen style image and tanks with a man holding a golf sale sign in front of them.
- Happy Choppers: These limited prints showed a military helicopter with a pink bow tied around the rotors.
- Monkey Queen: A more controversial set of prints presented the queen with crown as a monkey.
- Queen Victoria: This limited edition showed Queen Victoria with stockings sitting on the face of another woman. Banksy has become well known for his criticism of the monarchy and the establishment.
Other works that appeared during this year included:
Tate Britain Prank
Because I’m Worthless: Rats also feature heavily in his works. This mural appeared in London and shows one painting the words ‘because I’m worthless’.
Keep Your Coins, I Want Change: Appearing in Melbourne, this shows a homeless person with a sign and was focused on creating social change rather than giving people money.
Napalm Girl: Banksy reproduced the iconic Napalm Girl from the Vietnam War, holding hands with Mickey Mouse and Ronald MacDonald.
Barcode: This shows an image of a leopard emerging from a barcode shaped cage which is widely thought to signify escaping from consumerism though there are several other interpretations.
Because I’m Worthless: This set of prints continued the rat theme and the slogan ‘because I’m worthless’.
Christ with Shopping Bags: Another controversial limited print edition showed Christ on the cross while holding shopping bags.
Other works during this year, probably one of Banksy’s most prolific, included:
Di Faced Tenners
Get Out While You Can
Girl With Balloon
I Fought The Law
Cut It Out
London Museum Prank
Louvre Museum Prank
- Dove of Peace: This piece appeared in Bethlehem and showed a white dove wearing a bulletproof vest with a red target on its chest.
- Flying Balloon Girl: Appearing in Palestine, it was painted on a wall in the West Bank and shows the silhouette of a girl being raised by balloons to escape.
- Hitchhikers Anywhere: This image of a Charles Manson type character hitchhiking was defaced by Banksy’s rival Robbo and was eventually removed.
- Secured: For this piece in Liverpool, Banksy focused on the use of cheap migrant labour for security guards by businesses.
- Snorting Copper: The morality of the police was brought into question by this London mural showing a copper kneeling and snorting coke off the floor.
- Soldiers Painting CND Sign: The CND sign features quite a lot in Banksy’s works and usually involves soldiers in some way.
Other works that appeared during this year included:
Jack & Jill
British Museum Prank
New York Museums Prank
The Segregation Wall
- Gangsta Rat: The famous rats made a reappearance at London’s Moorfield Hospital and represents Banksy’s focus on justice and those facing it.
- Old Skool: This favourite of Banksy fans appeared on Clerkenwell Street in London and shows old people loitering in the same way young people are often criticised for.
- Old Woman: This appeared in Los Angeles and shows an old woman with the slogan ‘you looked better on MySpace’.
- Sweep it Under the Carpet: Criticising the way the world deals with global issues, this shows a maid brushing dirt under the cover of a brick wall.
- Well, Hung Lover: One of Banksy’s larger works, this appeared in Bristol and shows a naked man hanging out of a window while the husband and wife stare out.
Other works that appeared this year included:
Guantanamo Bay Detainee
Santa’s Ghetto 06
- Cash Machine Girl: A girl grabbed by the robotic arm of a cash machine appeared near Exmouth Market in East London.
- Fallen Angel: More war focused stencils appeared in 2007 including this one of an angel wearing a bulletproof vest and holding a skull. It was a tribute to graffiti artist Ozone.
- Girl with Skipping Rope: This work appeared in Brooklyn but was painted over when it was vandalized by a rival artist called the splasher.
- Gun Clown: Mixing the innocence of kids with the violence of guns is a common theme in some of Banksy’s work and this stencil was part of several works that appeared during this period.
- Looting Soldiers: The ingenuity of Banksy is demonstrated in this New Orleans mural that uses a shop window to illustrate soldiers looting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
- Policeman Searching: This iconic image of a policeman searching a young girl in a pink dress is related to the stop and search policy of the time.
Other pieces during 2007 that appeared all over the world include:
Space Girl with Bird
Stop and Search
Yellow Lines Flower Painter
Wall and Piece
- Abraham Lincoln: This work again focuses on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US and shows Lincoln as a homeless man wheeling a small trolley.
- Bubble Slide Girl: This image of a girl sliding down a slope and blowing bubbles appeared on the wall of a youth club in Hackney.
- Cave Painting Removal: This work looks at how art, especially graffiti, is removed by people who don’t understand it.
- Gas Mask Wearing Musicians: This work in New Orleans shows musicians marching, playing their instruments while wearing gas masks.
- Girl and Mouse: Another New Orleans shows a girl standing on a stool looking at a mouse.
- Shave Kong: Bringing people together and acting together was the theme for this mural painted near the Cans Festival in London.
- I Love You: One of Banksy’s simpler pieces just shows the slogan with an hourglass holding heart-shaped grains of sand.
Other works during this year by Banksy included:
No Ball Games Rat
One Nation Under CCTV
Very Little Helps
The Cans Festival
Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill
- Don’t Forget your Scarf: People should be accepted for who they are is the theme of this Bristol work showing a mother arranging the mask on her subversive son.
- Kentucky Fox: This mural in London shows a silhouetted fox dragging the head of Colonel Sanders.
Other works include:
Thug for Life Bunny
No Ball Games
Banksy VS Bristol
- Cameraman and Flower: Preserving beauty and causing accidental destruction was the theme of this work that appeared in Los Angeles during the Sundance Festival.
- Forgive Our Trespassing: A young boy kneeling and asking for forgiveness shows the conflict that Banksy often feels about his work.
- Gorilla With Pink Mask: Created on the side of a Bristol social club, this mural was painted over by a new owner who had never heard of Banksy.
- Interest in People: This mural showing a salesman carrying a 0% sign criticises our tendency to treat people like commodities.
- Modern Art: This mural painted in the Basque Country in Spain shows a man staring at an empty canvas.
- No Future: This moving image shows a girl sitting on the ground holding a balloon that joins with the words ‘no future’.
- No Trespassing: Similar to the No Future mural, this Banksy work portrays a seated native American Indian holding a no trespassing sign.
Other works in 2010 included:
Security Guard with Pink Balloon
Choose Your Weapon
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Marks And Stencils
- All Seeing Ostrich: This work uses a security camera as the head of an ostrich and was painted on a London wall.
- Baby Carriage: A baby carriage rolling down a set of steps appeared on a wall in San Francisco and highlights the dangers of the big city for children.
- Child Soldier: This appeared in Hollywood and shows a child with a large machine gun, highlighting the corruption of innocence.
- Cut It Out: Banksy returned to the West Bank for this simple stencil that shows how to cut a hole in the wall.
- Follow your Dreams – Canceled: This work in Boston highlighted the way that dreams are stopped by reality.
- Sorry, The Lifestyle you Ordered: The lifestyle you ordered is out of stock appeared on the side of an abandoned building in London.
Other works during 2011 included:
Take this Society
- Fridge Kite: Another iconic work appeared in Los Angeles and shows a figure flying a kite in the shape of a fridge.
- Javelin Thrower: With the Olympics held in London, it was appropriate to show an athlete throwing a javelin shaped like a missile.
- Slave Labour: This again takes a dig at the Olympics with a child sewing flags.
Other works this year included:
Winnie the Pooh Bear Trap
- Bronx Zoo: A mural of a leopard yawning on a yellow plank appeared just outside the Yankee Stadium in New York.
- Fake Plato Quote: The fake quote is one of Banksy’s simpler works and says: I have a theory that you can make any sentence seem profound by writing the name of a dead philosopher at the end of it – Plato.
- Ghetto for Life: This work shows a butler with a tray of spray pains serving a child as he writes graffiti on a wall.
Other works in 2013 included:
Graffiti Is A Crime
Waiting in Vain
Better Out Than In
- Drunk Angel: A smoking and drinking angel sat on the floor appeared in an alleyway in London in 2014.
- Love is the Answer: Einstein holding a sign that says Love is the Answer appeared on a red brick wall in Brooklyn.
Other works in 2014 included:
Mobile Phone Lovers
One Original Thought
- Crying Woman: A single standing door in a pile of rubble was the site for this image of a crying woman that appeared in Gaza.
- Gaza Kitty: Another Gaza image was painted on the side of a damaged building, again surrounded by rubble, and depicts a kitten with a pink bow.
Other works in 2015 included:
The Son Of A Migrant From Syria
Just one Banksy work appeared in 2016. The Burning Tyre marked Banksy’s return to Bristol and was painted on the wall of a school, depicting a stick child rolling a burning tyre.
- Civilian Drone Strike: This limited edition print series shows houses being blown up by drones.
- The Walled Off Hotel: This big exhibition mixes art, politics and tourism with 20 new original works by Banksy.
- Blinded Napoleon: A revision of the original work of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David, this Banksy mural appeared in Paris in 2018.
- Box Cutter Rat: The rats returned with this Paris work showing one sporting a mask and a box cutter.
- Chisel the Flag: This appeared on a wall in Dover and shows a man on a ladder chiselling one of the stars off the European flag, a direct response to Brexit.
Other Banksy works to hit the headlines this year included:
Draw The Raised Bridge:
Go Flock Yourself
Draw The Raised Bridge
You Loot We Shoot
The World Travel Fair
- The Walled Off Hotel: Another work that appeared in the troubled area of Jerusalem, this one shows a young child digging a heart-shaped tunnel.
With the pandemic running riot around the world, Banksy chose 2020 to produce several murals reflecting the work of the NHS. One appeared on the wall of a Southampton hospital and depicts a boy discarding his superhero toys in a basket and playing with a nurse figure.