83+ Best Banksy Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, political activist, and film director, active since the 1990s. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. Profoundly inspirational Banksy quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

Famous Banksy Quotes

Should graffiti be judged on the same level as modern art? Of course not: It’s way more important than that. – Banksy

I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower. – Banksy

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand. – Banksy

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. – Banksy

I originally set out to try and save the world, but now I’m not sure I like it enough. – Banksy

Nobody knows what you feel inside unless you tell them. – Banksy

People either love me or they hate me, or they don’t really care. – Banksy

People seem to think if they dress like a revolutionary, they don`t actually have to behave like one. – Banksy

I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time. – Banksy

A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves. – Banksy

I tell myself I use art to promote dissent, but maybe I am just using dissent to promote my art. I plead not guilty to selling out. But I plead it from a bigger house than I used to live in. – Banksy

On Painting Rats, and the Glorification of Them. They exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant, and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model. – Banksy

All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history. They’ve been used to start revolutions and to stop wars – Banksy

When the time comes to leave, just walk away quietly and don’t make any fuss. – Banksy

People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine. – Banksy

Anyone who believes in capital punishment should be shot – Banksy

Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. – Banksy

I’ve never really understood why people sleep. Wasting a third of your life and becoming vulnerable for almost 8 hours every night. Doesn’t seem very appealing to me. – Banksy

At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse. – Banksy

Speak softly but carry a big can of paint. – Banksy

The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it. – Banksy

I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom. – Banksy

I don’t know if street art ever really works indoors. If you domesticate an animal, it goes from being wild and free to sterile, fat and sleepy. So maybe the art should stay outside. – Banksy

It’s impossible to predict which paintings will last and which won’t. In New Orleans I painted on a dilapidated shop in a street littered with abandoned cars and rotting mattresses, then two hours later the piece was gone. It turned out I’d picked the side of a crack house and the proprietor didn’t like the attention. – Banksy

I think it’s pretty clear that film is the pre-eminent art form of our age. If Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci were alive today, they’d be making Avatar, not painting a chapel. Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it. – Banksy

Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own. – Banksy

Fight the fighters, not their wars. – Banksy

Brandalism Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It’s yours to take, rearrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. – Banksy

Graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people: politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers. – Banksy

You can win the rat race but you’re still a rat. – Banksy

I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me. – Banksy

One Original Thought is worth 1000 Meaningless Quotes. – Banksy

You owe the companies nothing. You especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. – Banksy

A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to. – Banksy

I have a theory that you can make any sentence seem profound by writing the name of a dead philosopher at the end of it. – Banksy

Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better-looking place. – Banksy

Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity. – Banksy

It doesn’t take much to be a successful artist-all you need to do is dedicate your entire life to it. – Banksy

When you go to an art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires. – Banksy

Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f*king sharp knife to it. – Banksy

All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw? – Banksy

The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists… Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little. – Banksy

People are fond of using military terms to describe what they do. We call it bombing when we go out painting, when of course it’s more like entertaining the troops in a neutral zone, during peacetime in a country without an army. – Banksy

The human race is the most stupid and unfair kind of race. A lot of the runners don’t even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It’s not surprising a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk and shout abuse. What the human race needs is a lot more streakers. – Banksy

Become good at cheating and you never need to become good at anything else. – Banksy

Keep your coins, I want change. – Banksy

Is graffiti art or vandalism? That word has a lot of negative connotations and it alienates people, so no, I don’t like to use the word ‘art’ at all. – Banksy

T.V. has made going to the theatre seem pointless, photography has pretty much killed painting, but graffiti has remained gloriously unspoilt by progress. – Banksy

A recent survey or North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey. – Banksy

Today’s art has been cancelled due to police activity. – Banksy

If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, it matters. – Banksy

Nobody ever listened to me until they didn’t know who I was – Banksy

Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet. – Banksy

People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly. – Banksy

I just wanna make the world a better-looking place. If you don’t like it, you can paint over it! – Banksy

There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place. – Banksy

The art world is the biggest joke going. It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak. And modern art is a disgrace – never have so many people used so much stuff and taken so long to say so little. – Banksy

The grumpier you are, the more assholes you meet. – Banksy

Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has to offer and nobody is put off by the price of admission. – Banksy

Once upon a time there was a bear and a bee who lived in a wood and were the best of friends. All summer long the bee collected nectar from morning to night while the bear lay on his back basking in the long grass. When winter came the bear realized he had nothing to eat and thought to himself ‘I hope that busy little bee will share some of his honey with me.’ But the bee was nowhere to be found – he had died of a stress induced coronary disease. – Banksy

Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity at the same time is ideal. – Banksy

If at first you don’t succeed, Call an airstrike. – Banksy

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’ because no one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day. – Banksy

You’re advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water. – Banksy

I have no interest in ever coming out. I’m just trying to make the pictures look good; I’m not into trying to make myself look good. And besides, it’s a pretty safe bet that the reality of me would be a crushing disappointment to a couple of 15-year-old kids out there. – Banksy

If you feel dirty, insignificant or unloved, then rats are a good role model. They exist without permission, they have no respect for the hierarchy of society, and they have sex 50 times a day. – Banksy

Policemen and security guards wear hats with a peak that comes down low over their eyes. Apparently, this is for psychological reasons. Eyebrows are very expressive, and you appear a lot more authoritative if you keep them covered up. The advantage of this is that it makes a lot harder for cops to see anything more than six foot off the ground. Which is why painting rooftops and bridges is so easy. – Banksy

As far as I can tell the only thing worth looking at in most museums of art is all the schoolgirls on daytrips with the art departments. – Banksy

Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access. – Banksy

I’d been painting rats for three years before someone said, ‘that’s clever it’s an anagram of art’ and I had to pretend I’d known that all along. – Banksy

I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me. – Banksy

I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don’t do that so much anymore. – Banksy

I don’t think you should have to pay to look at graffiti. You should only pay if you want to get rid of it. – Banksy

This is a big surprise I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me. – Banksy

I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is. You ask a lot of kids today what they want to be when they grow up, and they say, ‘I want to be famous.’ You ask them, ‘For what reason?’ and they don’t know or care. I think Andy Warhol got it wrong – in the future, so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes. – Banksy

I don’t believe in anything. I’m just here for the violence. – Banksy

The difference between freedom and slavery is one thin line – Banksy

If you have a statue in the city center you could go past it every day on your way to school and never even notice it, right. But as soon as someone puts a traffic cone on its head, you’ve made your own sculpture. – Banksy

Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from ‘Gladiator’) but you know what? ‘I’m just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker’ as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor. – Banksy

But there’s no way round it-commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist. We’re not supposed to be embraced in that way. When you look at how society rewards so many of the wrong people, it’s hard not to view financial reimbursement as a badge of self-serving mediocrity. – Banksy

We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime, we should all go shopping to console ourselves. – Banksy

The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal. – Banksy

Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little. – Banksy

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