Tattoo Ideas: Banksy Graffiti

Updated on October 6, 2007
The stenciled images of graffiti artist Banksy make for great tattoo work
The stenciled images of graffiti artist Banksy make for great tattoo work

The works of graffiti artist only known as Bansky (an anonymous Englishman whose real name may be Robert Banks) first began popping up on city walls in England in the late 1990s. Allegedly born in Bristol in 1974, Banksy is a freehand artist who later evolved into graffiti stenciling at the turn of the new millennium. Although he has given numerous interviews and published several books, the true identity of Banksy is unknown. The work for which he is famous invariably includes anti-war, anti-establishment and pro-freedom images. Some of his most notorious stencils include a girl hugging a bomb, a girl wearing a gas mask, and two male police officers embracing and kissing each other. Banksy's images have been replicated as tattoos as well, the most notable being his famous "Girl with Balloon" seen here, featuring a young girl losing her grip on a solitary red balloon.

Banksy is reknowned for going after media moguls as well. His spoof on Paris Hilton in August 2006 involved confiscating 500 copies of her debut CD and replacing the inserts with his own cover art. He renamed the tracks "Why am I Famous?" and "What am I For?" and altered the glamour shots of Ms. Hilton so that she appeared as a topless, lifeless mannequin and with the head of a canine in lieu of her own.

A trickster and prankster as well as a talented artist, Banksy pulled off another stunt in 2004 when he created a series of £10 notes which substituted the Queen's head with Princess Diana's and changed the words "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England". Other times he decorated an entire corridor at the Carlton Arms Hotel in NYC, entered a penguin enclosure at the London Zoo and spray painted "We're bored of fish", and stenciled "This is not a photo opportunity" on places scattered throughout London that are, in fact, popular photo opportunity spots. Despite the fact that his face has never been seen, Banksy pulls in a pretty penny with his various artforms. In 2006 he sold a painting of Queen Victoria depicted as a lesbian to pop princess Christina Aguilera and a set of six silk-screen prints portraying supermodel Kate Moss in an Andy Warhol style for £50,400. Banksy's stencil of a Mona Lisa with green paint dripping from her eyes also sold at that same Kate Moss auction for an equally obscenely high amount.

Banksy's images translate perfectly for the sake of tattooing due to their use of predominantly black ink, with splashes of red thrown in here and there.

BANKSY Tattoo Gallery

Questions & Answers


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      • annasmom profile image

        annasmom 2 years ago

        I have Banksy's Fallen Angel on my him! Great Hub!

      • profile image

        Banksy Art 6 years ago

        Bnaksy is the nost popular Graffiti artist. What a great idea to have banksy tatoo. Awesome hub!

      • profile image

        adrian krause 7 years ago

        dude that's some unique stuff.... found this page on youtube... graffiti and body art awesome...

      • profile image

        Bagel/GONE 7 years ago

        @Compu smart. graffiti is an art, vandalism is destruction.

      • promotion1 profile image

        promotion1 7 years ago from GONDIA



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        Vicky_Vincenzo 9 years ago

        Hey Peepers, Who Done Your banksy Tattoo? Vickyyy x

      • profile image

        Andrhea 9 years ago

        THE LAST IMAGE IS NOT BANKSY. It is from a threadless t-shirt. Jesus.

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        Felix 9 years ago

        Last image, with the suicide and butterflies, is not Banksy but a well-known and often imitated t-shirt design from called "Flowers In The Attic".

      • profile image

        jtl 9 years ago

        Oh lol

        that's awesome lol

        Learn a new acronym lol

        fucking scumbag.

      • profile image

        lil_leach58 9 years ago

        for christmas i am getting the angel lol

        drinking and smoking lol

        i am so excited i am getting it lol

      • profile image

        Glexi 9 years ago

        Just wanted to share mine!

        <img src=" border="1">

        Lettering says "There is Always Hope."

      • profile image

        Peepers 9 years ago

        I'm going to get the rats with mortars on my back in a couple of hours, I'm excited because the tattoo artist I chose loves banksy, even owns his book and wanted to do one of his works. I'm pumped

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        justbeyou 9 years ago

        ahmayzing how do you think of those tags? i like the last one the best.

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        kt 9 years ago

        what's the name of the image in the last picture?

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        cherong 10 years ago

        i friggin love it...

      • compu-smart profile image

        Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

        Banksy is a truly a talented graffiti artist...It's a shame that there's a very thin line between graffiti art and vandalism..