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Banksy has become almost an urban legend as far as graffiti artists are concerned. His works adorn hundreds of walls and buildings all over the world, many pieces obtaining protected status. His use of stencils to speed up his graffiti work is now legendary and sets his work apart from most other urban artists. Ironically, the very people he often satirizes in his easily recognizable art are the same people who, today, have embraced his work the most and made Banksy a very bankable name.
One of his very earliest works of wall art was a large hand-drawn graffiti, high up on a brick wall in a working-class section of Bristol known as Stokes Croft. The original Banksy artwork, known as the Mild Mild West, has been visible on the wall for close to ten years, only recently vandalized by a group opposed to urban art.
Banksy’s original and sardonic work depicts three riot police carefully approaching a large stuffed teddy bear holding a lit Molotov cocktail in his hand. The riot police are advancing behind protective shields. The viewer can make of this what he or she will.