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Tattoo Ideas: Banksy Graffiti

The stenciled images of graffiti artist Banksy make for great tattoo work.

The stenciled images of graffiti artist Banksy make for great tattoo work.

Banksy Tattoos

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 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 Idea: Girl With Balloon

Banksy Tattoo Idea: Girl With Balloon

"Girl With Balloon"

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's Most Iconic Images

  • The Flower Thrower (masked man tossing bouquet grenade)
  • Balloon Girl (child losing a heart-shaped balloon)
  • Bomb Hugger (woman embracing a missile)
  • Umbrella Girl (umbrella dumping water on girl)
  • Rat With a Paintbrush (the author himself?)

Banksy's Famous Stunts and Pranks

Banksy is renowned 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.

Banksy tattoo idea: Girl hugging a bomb

Banksy tattoo idea: Girl hugging a bomb

Banksy's Sales

Despite the fact that his face has never been seen, Banksy pulls in a pretty penny with his various art forms. 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 tattoo idea

Banksy tattoo idea


annasmom on November 12, 2015:

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

Banksy Art on June 02, 2011:

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

adrian krause on April 24, 2011:

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

Bagel/GONE on August 10, 2010:

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

promotion1 from GONDIA on May 04, 2010:



Vicky_Vincenzo on April 07, 2009:

Hey Peepers, Who Done Your banksy Tattoo? Vickyyy x

Andrhea on April 06, 2009:

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

Felix on November 26, 2008:

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".

lil_leach58 on September 28, 2008:

for christmas i am getting the angel lol

drinking and smoking lol

i am so excited i am getting it lol

Glexi on August 26, 2008:

Just wanted to share mine!

<img src=" border="1">

Lettering says "There is Always Hope."

Peepers on August 09, 2008:

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

justbeyou on August 01, 2008:

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

kt on July 09, 2008:

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

cherong on October 14, 2007:

i friggin love it...

Tony Sky from London UK on October 06, 2007:

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