No he is not, we’ll tell you why in the following post. However, before we do so you should learn a little about the street artist the media calls “the new Banksy”.
Nick Walker is one of the most famous urban artists in the world. Growing up in Bristol he is one of the forerunners of the British street art revolution that took over the walls of the world. As early as 1980 Nick Walker began graffiti writing in his hometown Bristol.
Now he is not merely a graffiti writer anymore but one of the most recognized street artists in the world. His work has evolved towards stencils without giving up the ability to add elements free hand. His canvases are characterized by great details, extensive imagery and sophistication. His street art pieces on the other hand are simpler and clearer without loosing their contemporary art feel. In 2006 Nick Walker created an alter ego that visits the worlds metropolises to color the walls of the cities: The Vandal. The Vandal is a black suited and bowler hatted character that allows Walker to declare his independence and freedom from classical street art. The character is also a symbol for the artist’s humoristic expression.
In 2008 Nick Walker had his breakthrough in the commercial art world. His Painting “Moona Lisa”, depicting Leonardo Da Vinci’s muse exposing her behind, was sold at a Bonham’s auction for 54,000 pounds, ten-times the estimated value. The word began to spread that another artist from Bristol, besides Banksy, is stenciling his way around the world and into the portfolios of collectors and galleries alike. The entire contemporary art world was eager to watch Walker’s development. Therefore it didn’t take long until media caught on and began phrasing headlines and publishing stories about ‘the other’ British street artist. Art magazines ‘Le Monde Diplomatique’- and the ‘Independent Art Magazine’ featured Nick Walker on their front pages.
Especially media names Nick Walker the new Banksy or compares the two street artists. Is Nick Walker really the new Banksy? Does he have to be in order to be successful? Admittedly there are many similarities between the two. Both are about the same age, have their origins in the Bristol graffiti scene and primarily work with stencils. Despite these commonalities both have their very distinct signature style. The art of Nick Walker depicts more expansive imagery, while Banksy focuses on highlighting one image in his works. Banksy is socio-critical contrary to Walker’s lighter sarcasm. Auxiliary Nick Walker uses more color than Banksy, making his work unconcerned rather than evocative.
As you see Nick Walker and Banksy are not so much alike as they are portrayed to be. There is however, a further intersection that has not been addressed yet. Both their art is sold for vast amounts of money. April this year Nick Walker exhibited his work in a solo show at the Black Rat Gallery in London. Yield of the exhibition were staggering 750000 pounds. Sums that the street art world is only accustomed to hearing in context with Banksy. The nearly 1 million Euros illustrate the recognition Nick Walker receives in the art world and hopefully will continue to do so.
Pictures retrieved from: Nick Walker