Banksy is the most famous street artist in the world – fact. He needs no further introduction here.
For a long while in lockdown, the sale of anything related to Banksy went crazy. This momentary madness didn’t evade me. Over the course of a few months in 2021, I attempted to buy every Banksy book I could find online and (oddly) a bar of soap from The Walled Off Hotel! 🤷♂️ Whilst some works by Banksy increased in value by six and seven figures, us more moderate spenders were left to collect what we could afford. I haven’t added every book on this list to my collection (yet), but I’m doing pretty well.
To the best of my knowledge, Banksy has released 4 books himself. There are also at least 26 books published on the artist by other authors. I’ve included images and descriptions for 22 books and linked to all 30. I’m certain I have missed a few of the more obscure releases. Of course, I will update this article as more books are inevitably published/discovered. Please feel free to contact me on socials if you have a book I should add.
I do not claim to have read all these books (yet), I will however attempt to give a short opinion on each book based on my own experience and reviews I have read online.
Where a book is available, I will include a link to purchase. If the book is on Amazon, I will include an affiliate link which will help support me and this site if you choose to buy.
All editions are written in the English language. All prices are accurate at the time of writing. Books are listed in chronological order except where a second volume was released. Most of these books have been updated since their original release, so make sure you buy the correct version of the book.
In the early days, the days when every collector says they wish they bought more Banksy – Banksy was self-publishing his first Books. This trio of tiny A6(ish) books were released in extremely small numbers and sell for a decent price on eBay and at Auctions Houses such as TateWard.
Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall
- Released: 2001
- Price: ~£99.99 (Amazon)
The first incendiary collection of stencils and graffiti from Banksy, presented and bound in a handy pocket sized high quality format. Rarely have art and politics been put to such fine,and overtly public, use. Mix the irony and juxtaposition of John Yates with the beauty of the finest aerosol art, and you’ll have some idea of how good this really is. The reproductions are interspersed with an excellent array of quotes, statements, letters and a beginners guide to painting with stencils. Very, very good.
- Released: 2002
- Price: £54.99 (Amazon)
The second, eagerly awaited Banksy book – Existentialism. Same handy pocket size as Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, now in full, glorious colour.
As ever, the stencils and art are complemented with various commentary, thoughts and context from the man himself, together with various reviews and emails. Quite superb.
Cut It Out
- Released: 2004
- Price: £124.15 (Amazon)
The third incendiary collection of stencils and graffiti from Banksy (after Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall and Existencilism). Cut it out is presented and bound in a handy pocket-sized high-quality format. Full colour, and including some of the most famous/notorious works to date, including exhibiting his work at the Tate Gallery in London. Quite superb.
Wall and Piece
- Released: 2005
- Price: £15.00 (Amazon)
Originally released in 2005, Wall and Piece is Banksy’s first and only major book release.
Wall and Piece amalgamate Banksy’s three pocket-sized books – ‘Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall’, ‘Cut It Out’ and ‘Existencilism’.
A first edition Wall and Piece with the dust jacket is considered a collector’s item, expect to pay well over £1,000 for a copy in good condition.
The general release 2nd hand hardback can be picked up for a few pounds on eBay these days, but note that the book has been updated at least once to include more of the artist’s work.
If you just want to get one Banksy book, get this one.
Banksy Myths & Legends: Volume 1 & 2
- Author: Marc Leverton
- Vol 1. Released: 22nd October 2011
- Vol 1. Price: £5.75
- Vol 2. Released: 15th January 2015
- Vol 2. Price: £5.95
Vol 1: No single living artist has created as many myths, rumours and legends as Banksy. In his home-town of Bristol almost everyone seems to have a Banksy story. Many of the tales in this book are from Bristol, some are from further a field. What they share is that they are all told with the wide eyed wonder which Banksy inspires.
Vol 2: For many the smoke and mirrors which surround Banksy are as fascinating as the artwork of the 21st century’s most important living artist. Banksy Myths Volume 2 takes the same approach as Vol 1. We collect the stories, the reader can judge for themselves.
These books are a successful attempt to mimic the style of Banksy’s trio of pocket sized books from 2001 to 2004.
Seven Years with Banksy
- Author: Robert Clarke
- Released: 12th April 2012 (*New Edition: 9th March 2022)
- Price: £12.99 (Amazon – Paperback)
It is unclear if the new 2022 edition which features a black cover instead of white adds anything new. I think given the title ‘Seven Years With Banksy’, I would not expect there to be a great deal of new information in the newer version.
His works sell for six-figure sums, his film Exit through the Gift Shop was nominated for an Oscar, and whenever an exhibition of his opens there are queues around the block. Banksy is one of the world’s most talked-about artists yet very little is known about him:
This book is a personal and in-depth account of the enigmatic man behind the murals, written by a friend and fan; An illuminating memoir of the world’s most celebrated graffiti artist offering insight into Banksy’s life and work through the experiences that he and the author Robert Clarke shared together during Banksy’s formative years. Clarke takes us through their first encounters, which took place in a hotel in New York in the 1990s, and candidly describes how his friendship with this young English artist developed. Along the way, readers will discover more about the ever-mysterious Banksy—what makes him tick, why he does what he does, and why he ultimately rejects fame in favor of anonymity, setting him apart from many other popular artists. Revealing much about the origins of some of the artist’s most striking ideas, as well as his subversive social attitudes, complex personality, and singular sense of humor, this is the perfect read for any Banksy or modern-art fan.
Banksy – The Bristol Legacy
- Author: Paul Gough
- Released: 26th April 2012
- Price: £15 (Amazon – Paperback)
I travelled from London to Bristol in 2009 to see this landmark exhibition, unfortunately after many many hours queuing, we just didn’t get in! Gutted.
In the summer of 2009 Bristol saw a remarkable phenomenon that made international news. An estimated 300,000 people queued for hours, often in pouring rain, for admission to the city’s museum & art gallery. They had been attracted by the media hype surrounding an exhibition ambiguously entitled ‘Banksy vs the Bristol Museum’.
There have been many celebratory books about Banksy, but this is the first non-partisan documentation of the Bristol event and an attempt to assess its local and wider impact. The book raises a raft of questions: Is Banksy a subversive influence or merely a bit of fun? Why is Banksy so important to Bristol? Is he really important? Where does the exhibition leaveBristol as an epicentre of ‘street art’?
It looks at the setting up of the show and questions the need – other than to conform to the required Banksy mystique – for secrecy. The authors look also at the economic impact of the show, the media’s role in creating its notoriety, and the question so often avoided by the critics – how does Banksy rate as an artist in his own right? Are we dealing with art, ‘street art’ or graffiti?
The contributors are drawn from the academic and art worlds, business and media, with a range of ‘vox pop’ reactions.
Banksy You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat and if You Were Not You Would Know About It
- Authors: Gary Shove & Patrick Potter
- Released: 2012 (Updated Edition: 2020)
- Price: £22.25 (Amazon)
A collection of photography of Banksy’s street work. If that isn’t enough there are some words too. You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat covers Banksy’s entire street art career, spanning the late ’90s right up to the ‘Seasons Greetings’ Christmas 2018 piece in Port Talbot, Wales. This new edition includes his self-destructing ‘Love is in the Bin’ intervention, which according to Sotheby’s is “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.” The groundbreaking ‘Dismaland’ show, his Paris ’68 revisited works, The Walled Off Hotel, Brexit, Cans Festival, Brookyln and Basquiat, as well as new works from Gaza and New York. Also featuring the controversial ‘Cheltenham Spies’ as well as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, ‘Art Buff’ and the spectacular ‘Mobile Lovers’ which appeared outside Bristol Boys Boxing Club.
248 pages featuring his greatest works of art in context.
Make sure you get the latest edition for all the good stuff.
Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home
- Author: Steve Wright
- Released: 10th November 2012 (Latest Edition: 3rd Aug 2020)
- Price: £15.00 (Amazon)
Now in its fifth edition, Home Sweet Home has been fully revised and updated to include all the new artworks in Banksy s hometown of Bristol. These include the Barton Hill Flower Girl image painted just yards from the youth centre where youth worker John Nation inspired Bristol’s original graffiti artists in the mid-1980s and which made a major impact on the young Banksy. Other updates include Girl In The Covid Mask from Spike Island, Devolved Parliament which was loaned back to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery before being sold for £9.9 million at auction, and Girl With A Burning Tyre, Banksy’s ‘gift’ to a South Bristol Primary School where pupils voted to name a House after the anonymous artist. We also take a look at the amazing display at the Star And Garter, one of Banksy’s favourite pubs. The artwork is rumoured to have been influenced by Banksy. The book features more than 175 images from Bristol plus rare shots of Banksy in Mexico where he toured as goalkeeper for the Easton Cowboys football team and other previously unpublished images.
Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall
- Author: Will Ellsworth-Jones
- Released: 7th March 2013 (Updated Edition: 19th October 2021)
- Price: £15.69 (Amazon – Hardback) | £8.25 (Paperback)
The Man Behind The Wall is a unique look into the life and history of Banksy. This book covers everything from the very early days. The 2021 edition also brings the book up to date. This is a must read if you want to know as much about Banksy as you can.
In this fully revised and richly illustrated edition, author and journalist Will Ellsworth-Jones pieces together a complete picture of the life and work of Banksy, perhaps the most iconic, enigmatic and controversial artist of modern times.
Planet Banksy: The man, his work and the movement he inspired
- Author: Alan Ket
- Released: 3rd April 2014 (Updated Edition: 8th July 2021)
- Price: £9.19 (Amazon – Paperback)
Highlighting both the relevance of Banksy’s street art and how his impact has continued to spread, Planet Banksy brings together some of the very best pieces of art from all corners of the world that have been inspired by Banksy, as well as featuring some of his own innovative, profound and controversial work.
Banksy In New York
- Author: Ray Mock
- Released: 10th December 2014
- Price: £29.99 (Hardback – Amazon)
Banksy’s New York “residency” is probably my favourite work by the artist. Such a genius idea that was executed almost flawlessly. If you’re interested in his New York antics, watch the documentary ‘Banksy Does New York‘.
Photographer Ray Mock takes you along on his exciting hunt for new Banksy work during the famous Better Out Than In’ project. This personal narrative offers a day-by-day account of Banksy’s first New York residency, chronicling works that include ‘Sirens of the Lambs’ and the Central Park stand at which original works by Banksy were sold for only $60. Mock’s work captures not only Banksy’s artwork but the reactions of the public and media frenzies that often accompanied it, giving fans a direct window into the frenetic scavenger hunt that took over NYC in October 2013.
Where’s B**ksy? Banksy’s Greatest Works in Context
- Author: Xavier Tapies
- Released: 2016 (Updated Edition: 16th August 2022)
- Price: £37.92 (Amazon – Pre-Order at time of writing)
The world’s most celebrated artist, Banksy, keeps going from strength to strength and this latest edition of Where’s Banksy? brings the book up-to-date with new art. So we have his brilliant Migrant Child With Pink Flare in Venice, to the fantastic situationist Valentine’s Day in Bristol. Two works referencing the pandemic show Banksy at his most eloquent. His homage to Oscar Wilde, Create Escape, also resulted in Banksy selling the work he stenciled on the side of Reading Jail in England, thus ensuring that the jail was turned into an arts center rather than being demolished by developers. And then we have Banksy’s typically witty Great British Spraycation, featuring several works created in seaside towns along Britain’s east coast, with Banksy addressing the plight of migrants, global warming, corporate greed and smug Western selfishness, always with that inimitable eloquence and humor. Amazingly, 20 years after his first works appeared in Bristol, Banksy has not only maintained his relevance, but has managed to preserve his anonymity. Street art expert Xavier Tapies provides insightful commentary.
Are We There Yet?: A Day Trip to Banksy’s Dismaland and Other Stories
- Author: Barry Cawston
- Released: 1st Nov 2016
- Price: £45.00 (Signed Paperback on Author’s Website)
A rare hardback does exist of this book, listed on Amazon for £144.00.
Are We There Yet? shines a spotlight on contemporary British life through the visual similes which Barry Cawston constructs between his Weston Super Mare street photography and the scathing sideshows of Banksy’s Dismaland bemusement park.
This beautiful 250pp photographic book features 150 stunning images of Dismaland and its locality with writing by Dismaland contributor Tristan Manco, street artist Felix (FLX) Braun, Dismal steward Farhath Siddiqui, Creative Producer Kath Cockshaw, Rachel Hobson and Barry Cawston.
Thirty photographs from the book are featured on Banksy’s Dismaland website.
Desperately Seeking Banksy
- Author: Xavier Tapies
- Released: 5th Sept 2017 (Updated Edition: 26th October 2021)
- Price: £16 (Amazon)
Explore the geography of genius in Desperately Seeking B**ksy, a pocket-sized, smaller sibling of Where’s B**ksy that illuminates the interaction between artist and space. Where its predecessor featured in-depth analysis of each piece displayed, Desperately Seeking B**ksy offers accessibility and brevity for the more casual fan. The maps are streamlined, and analysis has been replaced by individual quotes that offer insight into the inspiration behind each piece. The artwork selection is up-to-the-minute, featuring 2017s Bridge Farm Primary School and The Walled Off Hotel. With a size and price point perfect for gifting or impulse buying, it makes Banksy’s work available to a wider audience than ever before. Like the other titles in the Desperately Seeking series, Desperately Seeking B**ksy looks at a major cultural icon from a brand-new perspective, providing context for his work and legacy.
A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy
- Author: Gianni Mercurio
- Released: 2nd April 2020
- Price: £29.99 (Amazon)
Decades before he blew the lid off the high-stakes art world by shredding a work immediately following its purchase at an auction, Banksy was committing acts of artistic protest on the streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. We still don’t know who Banksy is, but thanks to this book we have a greater sense of how he works. This book features approximately eighty works from the start of his street art career to today, most photographed in situ and presented in vibrant illustrations. This book guides readers through Banksy’s artistic processes and explains his influences, such as the Situationism movement and the May 1968 uprising in Paris. It delves into key works such as Love Is in the Air, a stencilled graffiti that subverts the idea of violent protest; Flag, in which the iconic American photograph at Iwo Jima is altered to reflect a group of Harlem children atop a burnt-out car; and the slyly titled Turf War, in which Winston Churchill sports a grassy Mohawk. The book also pays tribute to Banksy’s rats, a reviled symbol of urban decay that the artist reimagines as rappers, violin players, and painters. As Banksy continues to challenge the political, economic, and racial oppression that takes place every day in cities around the world, this book offers a timely appreciation of just how the artist has embedded himself into the psyche of the powerful as well as the voiceless without ever revealing his own identity.
Banksy – The Walled Off Art Editions Are Sold Out!
- Author: Marc Pairon
- Released: November 2020
- Price: £12.50
Banksy, THE WALLED OFF ART EDITIONS are SOLD OUT uncovers the secrets of his Walled Off art editions. Flemish author Marc Pairon set out to investigate and now uncovers the secrets of Banksy’s much-coveted Walled Off art editions. Between 2017 and 2020, Banksy had a number of remarkable objets d’art issued in Palestine, aimed at drawing attention to the awkward living conditions of the Palestinian people. Until now, nobody knew how many different editions of these hand-painted multiples had been produced.
The Banksy phenomenon needs no further introduction. All over the world, he is currently the visual artist who gets the most attention in the press and is on everybody’s lips. His possible life story has already received extensive literary coverage, while most of his graffiti has been published many times.
In 2017, Banksy opened ‘The Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem, a living art installation with which he brings the Palestinian oppression up for discussion. After all, as a Social Artist he always sympathizes with the fate of mankind and acts – in all conscience and good faith – accordingly.
Between 2017 and 2020, Banksy issued limited editions of miniature multiples of the dividing wall in Palestine, which were only available to guests staying at The Walled Off Hotel. Indeed, deliberately creating a scarcity is one of Banksy’s trademarks. The various shapes of the ‘souvenirs’ executed in polymer resin were created by Banksy himself, while he also supervised the graffiti decorations carried out by Palestinian artists. These decorations copy the graffiti that can be found on the Israeli barrier on the West Bank and include a number of iconic images by the grandmaster himself.
Until now, little to nothing is known about the the diversity of the Walled Off art editions and the quantities that were issued. Such secrecy is simply part of the Banksy myth, which is carefully cultivated by its guardians. Nevertheless, Flemish author and art expert Marc Pairon has managed to map out this exceptional series of multiples. He began his research in Palestine and made an inventory of numerous international collections and archives, which resulted in the uncovering of the secrets behind this series of rare and now much-coveted collectibles. This yielded an exceptionally fascinating and useful reference work, containing around 200 unique photographs and extensive background information about this historic artistic legacy.
Banksy Captured Vol: I & Vol: II
- Author: Steve Lazarides
- Vol 1 Released: 2019
- Vol 2 Released: 2020
- Price: £40 (Special Offer for Both Paperback Volumes)
These two coffee table books are compiled by Banksy’s infamous ex-manager Steve Lazarides. Available in many iterations from Limited Edition hardbacks to several paperback versions, have an explore on eBay to see the success of these books.
Banksy Captured is the new book by Steve Lazarides, the person by Banksy’s side during his rise to infamy. These never before seen images, shot by Lazarides, document the fascinating and anarchic journey behind the scenes of the mysterious man who has become one of the world’s most renowned artists.
Banksyisms: The Wit, Wisdom and Inspiration of an Art Outlaw
- Author: Patrick Potter
- Released: 14th June 2021
- Price: £16.25 (Amazon – Hardback)
A follow up to the 2012 ‘Banksy You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat’.
Banksyisms: The Wit, Wisdom and Inspiration of An Art Outlaw is an in-depth look at his inspirational and witty commentary, complemented by images of his most iconic work. Featuring observations and insight, vibrantly illustrated with photography it also includes a timeline spanning his full career to date. From self-help to help-yourself all the way to just plain old, help! If you’ve been crying yourself to sleep over your failings as a rat athlete in the rat olympics of late-capitalist life then take comfort. This book is for you. Features his very latest work and includes: Nottingham Hula Hoop Girl, Bristol Valentines’ Day, Turf War Exhibition, Girl With Balloon, Birmingham Reindeer Bench, London Extinction Rebellion, Calais Steve Jobs, Devolved Parliament, New York You Loot We Shoot. Spanning Gaza, London, Bristol, New York, LA and Paris among many many more.
- Author: Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani
- Released: 28th June 2022
- Price: £27.30 (Amazon – Hardback)
This new release simply titled ‘Banksy’ is news to me. Interestingly it notes that the book was created ‘with the cooperation of Pest Control’ and ‘this is as official and authorised as any Banksy publication could be’. Hmmm, a slightly dubious claim I imagine.
The largest presentation of works by Banksy, the world’s most enigmatic yet highly sought-after artist, including iconic works, installation objects, ephemera, and memorabilia all in one volume.
Banksy is the world’s most discussed artist of recent decades, and this seminal collection features hundreds of works including Girl with Balloon, Pulp Fiction, Love Is in the Air, Barcode, and Monkey Queen. It also includes scores of paintings, serigraphs, stencils, and installation objects as well as a selection of memorabilia―many of which have never been published previously. Created with the cooperation of Pest Control, the group that manages all things Banksy, this is as official and authorized as any Banksy publication could be.
Banksy is the world’s greatest practitioner of street art. His work has always been political, involving pointed critiques of inequality, injustice, consumerism, and the establishment, yet no one knows his identity. He is an exemplary case of fame and notoriety built upon absence and anonymity. His relationship with the art market is also complex: marked by mocking hostility while being one of the most marketable and most collected contemporary artists.
If you want to be entertained beyond belief, ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop‘ is one of the best documentaries of all time.
And there you have it! That should enough Banksy to keep you going for a while. Please feel free to use the images captioned ‘from my personal collection’, with credit to me.
I have omitted a few Banksy books including two volumes of Locations & Tours due to the fact that a good chunk of Banksy’s street art has been removed since the books publications.
This Is Not A Photo Opportunity also gets a notable mention.
Banksy: Completed is another relatively new book I am not familiar with. I’ll add it to my Christmas list and add it here properly if it is warranted.
Another new hardback just called ‘Banksy‘. Let’s be a bit more inventive ay folks!
Robin Banksy: A Memoir. Could be good? ‘A thirty year romp through London’s art world’.
I will endeavour to keep this page updated, so please bookmark and come back soon.