Banksy Street Art Tour: Exploring the Finest Graffiti by the Most Elusive of Artists

The name Banksy frequently dominates headlines, whether it be due to the emergence of a new graffiti piece in some corner of the globe, a record-breaking auction sale, or a spirited debate surrounding one of his works. Most recently, he found himself in the limelight due to the whimsical destruction of one of his street art installations in Bristol by none other than actor Christopher Walken, all in the name of a BBC comedy show.

While Banksy's graffiti and street art have become iconic visuals recognized worldwide, the artist himself remains shrouded in anonymity. The true identity of this Bristol-born and bred political activist, filmmaker, and artist continues to elude the public eye, fueling endless speculation.

Read on to delve deeper into the enigmatic Banksy, the artist, and to uncover a selection of his quintessential street art creations from around the globe.

Who Exactly Is Banksy?

Banksy is a riddle wrapped in an enigma – his identity, whereabouts, and the timing of his next artistic revelation remain shrouded in mystery. However, what we do know is that despite preserving his own identity as a well-guarded secret, Banksy opts to showcase his art in public spaces, accessible to all. These spontaneous creations often find their way onto social media platforms, including Banksy's own Instagram account, even before their physical discovery.

Banksy's journey into the realm of street art commenced in his hometown of Bristol during the early 1990s. Initially, he wielded spray paint on train carriages before transitioning to public spaces within the city. Throughout his artistic odyssey, stencils became his chosen medium, with Banksy crafting his own templates and applying them to urban walls with a spray can. His work typically features striking and satirical visuals, accompanied by poignant slogans, and is invariably imbued with layers of political, social, and cultural commentary.

In many jurisdictions, including the UK, the terms "street art" and "graffiti" carry connotations of criminal damage. Consequently, Banksy adopted the pseudonym to maintain his anonymity. The moniker gradually gained prominence alongside graffiti art that began appearing across Bristol. As his reputation grew, particularly from the early 2000s onward, Banksy's creations started cropping up in other cities within the UK and various corners of the world.

Banksy's Prolific Street Art Across the Globe

Banksy's artistic oeuvre graces diverse locations worldwide, each piece carrying its own significance. While I'll delve into some of these works, there remains a plethora yet to be discovered.


In Margate, on Valentine's Day 2023, a fresh mural by Banksy titled "Valentine's Day Mascara" emerged. This artwork portrays a caricature of a 1950s housewife with a missing tooth and a swollen eye, placing a man inside a real-life freezer. Remarkably, the piece had to be removed twice after its discovery due to its powerful commentary on domestic violence. It will soon find a permanent home in Margate's Dreamland theme park.


 Horenka, Kyiv

During November 2022, Banksy left his mark in war-torn Ukraine with a series of murals. A video documenting the creation and finished artworks in Horenka, a village on the outskirts of Kyiv, was shared by the artist. Banksy's guerilla-style works in solidarity with Ukraine exhibit his characteristic style, blending satire and political commentary. These murals represent his latest contributions to the anti-war movement and are the first public murals in over a year.

One of the murals in Horenka portrays a figure resembling Putin being judo-slammed to the ground by a child, a poignant juxtaposition given Putin's black belt in the sport. Another mural features a woman in a robe and hair rollers, wearing a gas mask and clutching a fire extinguisher. This piece encapsulates the collision of everyday life with the backdrop of wartime, while another mural depicts children playing with a metal tank trap, paradoxically combining innocence with the harshness of cold metal, evoking both heartache and hope.


As Banksy's hometown, Bristol boasts an abundance of his artworks.

The Mild Mild West

One of his early prominent works, "The Mild Mild West" (1997), adorns Vale Street. It depicts a teddy bear hurling a Molotov cocktail at three riot police officers, overlaying the former site of a solicitor's office advertisement.



"Aachoo!!" (2020), a recent creation, is situated on Vale Street, showcasing an elderly woman in mid-sneeze, dentures mid-air.

Girl With the Pierced Eardrum

Girl with pierced eardrum


On Park Street, "Well-Hung Lover" (2006) draws attention, as it occupies the side of a sexual health clinic.

Banksy Well Hung Lover


London boasts numerous Banksy pieces, some of which are must-see attractions.

If Graffiti Changed Anything – It Would Be Illegal

Banksy Graffiti

In Fitzrovia, Clipstone Street features Banksy's iconic rat from 2011. This piece draws inspiration from a quote by 20th-century political activist Emma Goldman, known for her advocacy of women's rights: "If voting ever changed anything, it would be illegal."

Shop Until You Drop

Shop until you drop

Appearing in 2011, this stencil in Mayfair portrays a woman and a shopping trolley in freefall, sparking discourse about capitalism and consumerism, a hallmark of Banksy's style.

Yellow Lines Flower Painter

Located on Pollard Street, this graffiti depicts a painter resting after creating double yellow lines that metamorphose into a sprawling yellow flower. Despite some damage, the artwork endures.

Girl With Balloon

One of Banksy's most recognizable murals, "Girl With Balloon" (2002), conveys the poignant image of a young girl losing her heart-shaped red balloon. Originally sited in London, replicas now exist worldwide, serving as a homage to youth and the loss of innocence.


In 2004, Banksy journeyed to Brighton to create one of his most iconic pieces.

Kissing Coppers

Painted in 2004 on a wall of The Prince Albert Pub, "Kissing Coppers" was removed in 2011 and purchased by an anonymous buyer in Miami. A duplicate now graces Frederick Street, ensuring the public can still admire it. Interpretations vary, with some seeing it as a plea for acceptance of homosexuality within the vibrant LGBTQ community, while others view it as a mockery of authority.

New York

New York City serves as a canvas for street artists worldwide, including Banksy.

Hammer Boy

Hammer Boy Banksy Street Art

On 79th Street, "Hammer Boy" (2013) belongs to a series of art pieces Banksy created across New York City in a 31-day artistic spree. The mural portrays a young boy wielding a hammer, seemingly striking a 'real' fire hydrant, exemplifying Banksy's knack for integrating everyday urban objects into his art.

Waiting in Vain at the Door of the Club


Located on 678 W 51st Street, this piece from 2013 depicts a man holding wilting flowers, seemingly waiting for someone to exit a club. This artwork embellishes the side door of Larry Flynt's Hustler Club.


In 2015, the Chicago City Council spent a considerable sum to eradicate much of the city's graffiti, resulting in the obliteration of several significant artworks. Today, Chicago boasts just one surviving Banksy piece: "Baby Carriage Moving Downstairs."

Baby Carriage Moving Downstairs

Banksy Street Art Baby Carriage

Situated at the intersection of Randolph and Peoria, this artwork was created in 2010 while Banksy was promoting his documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." The imagery features a baby carriage descending a flight of stairs, a nod to the iconic scene from the classic Chicago movie, "The Untouchables."

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, another vibrant hub for street art, features Banksy's work as well.

Swing Girl

Banksy Street Art Swing Girl

Located on S Broadway, Banksy created this piece sometime between 2010 and 2014. The artist playfully removes the 'ing' from the word "parking," leaving the word "park," symbolizing the need for safe, green spaces for children to play in the downtown area.

San Francisco

San Francisco maintains a collection of Banksy's works, although many have been concealed in recent years.

If at First You Don’t Succeed – Call an Airstrike

Banksy Street Art

On Broadway in San Francisco, Banksy critiques US politics openly. This artwork portrays a child wearing a gas mask and uttering the words, 'If at first you don't succeed – call an airstrike.'

Bird Singing in Tree

Banksy Street Art Birds singing

Located in San Francisco's Mission district, Banksy's "Bird Singing in Tree" features a small tree trunk with a singing bird. Subsequent artists have contributed to the mural, adding animals and forest-like imagery.

New Orleans

In 2008, Banksy journeyed to New Orleans to commemorate the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, leaving behind poignant artworks in recognition of the event.

Umbrella Girl

Banksy Street Art Umbrella Girl

Part of the 'Nola' series, this mural on Kerlerec Street depicts a young girl sheltered beneath an umbrella, which paradoxically serves as the source of the downpour instead of protecting her from it. These works serve as a reminder of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating floods it brought to the region.

I Must Not Copy What I See on the Simpsons

Banksy Street Art Simpsons

Located on St Bernard Avenue with N Robertson Street, this piece from Banksy portrays a boy resembling Bart Simpson, scribbling on a blackboard in homage to the iconic introduction of "The Simpsons" TV series.


Several of Banksy's street artworks made their debut in Paris in 2018, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1968 student uprisings. Discussions in numerous university buildings addressed contemporary consumerist capitalism.

Minnie Mouse

Banksy Street Art

One of his most famous murals features a mouse on Rue Maitre Albert, adjacent to a migrant center. Here, the year 1968 loses its '8,' which is playfully placed atop the mouse's head, symbolizing Minnie Mouse and offering commentary on Disneyland's consumerism.

Red Horseman

Banksy Street Art The Red Horsemen

Spray-painted on Avenue de Flandre, Banksy's depiction of Napoleon, veiled in red, alludes to a controversial facet of French law. In 2010, wearing full-face veils in public was banned under the law.


Banksy created two provocative stencils in Calais's migrant camps in France, drawing attention to the refugee crisis.

The Son of a Migrant from Syria

Banksy Street Art

In the "Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, Banksy's portrayal features Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and the son of a Syrian migrant. Jobs is depicted carrying an Apple computer and a bag of his personal belongings, highlighting the contributions of migrants to society.

Refugees Waving to a Luxury Yacht

Banksy Street Art Refugees Waving to a Luxury Yacht

Created during Banksy's time at the camp in Calais, this artwork clearly references Theodore Gericault's painting "Raft of the Medusa" (1818). In Banksy's rendition, refugees occupy the raft and wave at a luxury yacht in the distance, a poignant commentary on the stark disparity between privilege and suffering.


Banksy has been deeply engaged in addressing issues related to Israel and Palestine through a series of artworks in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.

Pillow Fight

The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, situated on Caritas Street, serves as a potent political statement, offering guests the "worst view in the world" - the contentious Israeli West Bank barrier. Banksy meticulously curates the interior, featuring impactful paintings such as one depicting a pillow fight between an Israeli border policeman and a Palestinian man.

Armoured Dove

Banksy Street Art Armoured Dove

Banksy chose the Palestinian Heritage Center as the canvas for his "Armoured Dove," a controversial commentary on the Palestine-Israeli conflict. The artwork draws parallels with Picasso's masterpiece "Guernica," portraying a dove symbolizing peace but wearing an armored vest, marked with a target on its chest.

In the journey of Banksy's artistic expression, these diverse pieces narrate tales of societal commentary, political critique, and poignant reflections on contemporary life. Each of these artworks invites viewers to engage deeply with the themes and perspectives they embody.

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