The elusive street artist known as Banksy has won the 2014 Webby Person of the Year award. The award ceremony will take place on Monday in New York City.
The Webby Awards is the “leading international award honoring excellence on the internet”. The Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a body of over a thousand of Internet experts, visionaries, imaginative celebrities and other high-profile thinkers. Members include industry heroes such as Vint Cerf, co-founder of the internet. Academy award winning Actor Kevin Spacey and President of Huffington post Media Group, Arianna Huffington, are just two other notable members.
The Webbys started in 1996, shortly after the invention of the internet, and awards companies, groups and individuals in an assortment of different areas. The 2014 list of nominees and winners is a display of how widely the internet is being used in all different areas.
In October and November of last year, Banksy spent 31 days in New York City and created a new work every day during his visit. The series was called “Better Out Than In”. Many of his artworks are and were destroyed as soon they are created, and so his works live on mainly on the internet and through social media.
No doubt his image as an anonymous social provocateur and guerrilla artist has contributed to his fame and Webby award win. His style is unmistakable and he defies the rules on all fronts. He has a strong Facebook (2.8m) and Instagram (329k) following, and a web page that continues to confuse and illuminate. If one were to visit Banksy’s official website right now, it would feature simply one of his works from New York on a white background and no way to progress onto any other content.
Banksy’s identity remains a secret, and it is doubtful that he will receive his Webby in person tomorrow night.
Here are some of Banksy’s works from his New York City Residency: