female artist spotlight: BAMBI

female graffiti artist, BAMBI, has been decorating the streets of london with her social commentary inspired artwork since 2010.  along the way she has gained some pretty famous fans from kanye west and rihanna to robbie williams and adele. she classifies herself as an ardent feminist who got a taste for graffiti at a very young age and who sees her artwork as a social crusade. BAMBI’s stencilled work is frequently described as gritty and masculine in appearance whilst exploring themes of feminism, popular and street culture.

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BAMBI has gone to great lengths to uphold her anaminity, which she sees as an essential part of her work to avoid interruption and being pursued by the police for vandalism. because of this, many have called BAMBI the “female BANKSY” to which she replies BANKSY is actually the “male BAMBI.” though she admits to being a fan of BANKSY and his artwork, she also feels frustrated to be referred to by his name rather than an artist in her own right.  she explains that this just goes to show that we live in a male-dominated society and men set the benchmark that women are judged by.  BAMBI reveals that her true hero is the suffragette emily davison, a woman who “fought and gave her life to the cause.”  gender is central to BAMBI’s work and she takes inspiration from the never ending coverage of celebrity culture and socially constructed ideals of beauty in the media.

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though BAMBI’s identity is unknown, she has revealed several interesting details about her life.  she began her artistic career as a childhood vandal after receiving an airbrush spray kit with some air canisters for her ninth birthday. her first piece was a trail of stars painted on a stranger’s rolls-royce car using a stencil she made from a reader’s digest magazine. she went on to study an ma at central saint martins art school and has spent time behind bars, presumably for vandalism.  she has even alluded to a parallel career as a chart-topping singer, leading many to speculate that she may be anyone from mia to adele.

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courtesy of the guardian

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