Bristol

Banksy: Behind-the-scenes photos 'show artist at work'

Artist by a Banksy artwork Image copyright Steve Lazarides
Image caption The photographs were taken by Banksy's former agent and photographer

Photographs apparently showing elusive street artist Banksy at work have been published.

The behind-the-scenes images apparently capture Banksy in action, creating several famous works of art at various locations - although none of them show his face.

They were taken by his former agent and photographer, Steve Lazarides, who worked with him for over a decade.

The graffiti artist's identity has never been publicly revealed.

Banksy Image copyright Steve Lazarides
Image caption Steve Lazarides worked with Banksy for 11 years but said he hated the art world and only became part of it because of the elusive artist

Mr Lazarides said he worked with Banksy "for 11 glorious years, during which time we broke every rule in the rule book, along with a fair few laws".

"I hate the art world. I only became part of it because Banksy catapulted the movement into the stratosphere," he said.

"It was a ride - however, I'm glad I'm out of it and about to enter the next ride."

Mr Lazarides hails from Banksy's reputed home city of Bristol, and was commissioned to create the artist's portrait in 1997, which led to their 11-year partnership.

He worked as Banksy's agent, photographer, driver, and gallerist.

The photographs of Banksy at work, along with shots of some of his street art, are published in a new book by Mr Lazarides - Banksy Captured.

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Is this Banksy? Chris Kelly, Digital Editor, West of England

In 20 years working as a journalist in Bristol, I've written dozens of Banksy stories, been to many of his shows and taken more photos than I care to remember of his work. But only once have I ever seen who I thought was the elusive Bristol artist.

In 2015, I was invited to Weston-super-Mare for a mystery event at a disused outdoor swimming pool. It turned out to be Dismaland.

I was one of the first journalists through the door and spent the morning looking through the weird and wonderful collection of depressing-themed art.

But as I was on my way out, there was a door open that led to an office. Inside was a group of people, one of whom had very familiar, shaggy dark hair, as seen in these photos.

The security guard clocked that I'd looked inside the office and hastily shoved me out the door.

Banksy appears to prize his anonymity and that's what makes these rare photos of him in action all the more interesting.

Banksy Image copyright Steve Lazarides
Image caption Banksy's identity has never been publicly revealed
Banksy artwork Image copyright Steve Lazarides
Image caption Banksy's works have popped up on walls around the UK
Devolved Parliament Image copyright Sotheby's
Image caption Banksy's Devolved Parliament sold at auction for just under £9.9m earlier this month

All images copyrighted.

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