40 Powerful Photos Show Why Banksy Is the Spokesman of Our Generation

Getty Images

Banksy has become a cultural icon with his signature street art and supreme anonymity. His creations are often effortlessly detailed or poignantly simple, appearing overnight and turning the side of a building into a canvas for personal, political and social messages. 

While some have tried to track down the elusive artist, they have had little success, leaving the details of Banksy's identity — and gender — up in the air. But regardless of whether Bansky is a woman or man, the art always embodies a specific vision and proves that Banksy is the artist of our generation. Instead of stiff portraits lining the walls of museums, the artist's work sparks questions about today's most pressing questions, like the technology-saturated world we live in, abuse of power, environmental depletion and more. Banksy always pulls this off in an aesthetically edgy fashion while pushing conversations forward.

The upcoming HBO documentary Banksy Does New York offers a close look at the artist's one-month residency in the city last October. The film airs on Nov. 17, but until then, check out these images that showcase Banksy's work.

Is technology ruining us or saving us?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook

Are human beings inherently violent? Or does the world make us so?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook

How does capitalism affect our understanding of the world and each other? 

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook

Have we ruined the environment beyond repair?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Can children retain their innocence?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook

Is love real?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Can we live in a world where religion can be peaceful?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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What does it mean to be a woman?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Do our armed forces protect us or persecute us? 

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Facebook/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Can't we just all get along?

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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What does it all mean? 

Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
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Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook
Source: Unofficial: Banksy/Facebook