Is Street Artist Bambi Set to Surpass Banksy?
Spending years dodging the police, using her spray cans in the cover of the night, Britain’s other leading street artist, known as Bambi, has been thrust into the spotlight. Dubbed the female Banksy, the artist hit pop culture news headlines when infamous rapper Kanye West gave his new bride, Kim Kardashian, the artist’s semi-nude portrait of the reality TV star as a wedding gift.
In 2011, the graffiti artist gained widespread public attention when a striking image of the late Amy Winehouse appeared on a Camden Town doorway. Like renowned Bristol artist, Banksy, Bambi works in anonymity and her pieces can now fetch up to tens of thousands of pounds, reports the Guardian. Rumors that Bambi is a successful recording artist who studied at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art have come to light by way of her few interviews and comments of her manager, an Islington picture framer named Leonard Villa.
As of now, Michael Sakhai, director of London’s Walton Fine Arts, is the sole agent for Bambi originals. But will she take matters into her own hands? Both she and her male counterpart—who have exhibited work side by side at Sakhai’s gallery—began their careers as outsiders intending to undermine the modern art market. “There seems to me to be a big divide between the dirty, organic, smelly process of art making and those sterile spaces in which art was being shown,” Bambi said last month.
For his part, Banksy has famously pulled several pranks aimed at the art market—selling original works for $60 each at a small stall outside Central Park in New York City last year—a blatant slap in the face of street-art happy collectors and dealers. However, his chef d’oeuvre may be the mockumentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, a supposed documentary recounting Mr.Brainwash’s rise to street art fame, which many argue was a hoax concocted by Banksy and fellow street artist-turned-gallery favorite Shepard Fairey.
Although commission requests from A-listers such as Rihanna, Robbie Williams, and Brangelina have given Bambi some serious cachet, what will the future hold? Will she be stuck in the mass market of edition prints now popular among the millennial generation? We’ll just have to wait and see if her high prices and high-profile buyers put her in the buy, sell, or liquidate category.
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