Street artist Bambi, whose fans range from Robbie Williams to Rihanna, reveals importance of social issues and feminism to her work – but offers few hints as to her identity.
Her work decorates the streets and underpasses of north London, as well as the homes of everyone from Kanye West and Rihanna to Robbie Williams and Adele, but – like her male counterpart Banksy – Britain’s best-known female street artist has gone to great lengths to preserve her anonymity.
The identity of Bambi has remained a mystery since her pink tag appeared in 2010, first beneath include a stencil portrait of Amy Winehouse in a Camden doorway and since then in graffiti depicting everyone from Kim Kardashian to Boris Johnson portrayed as Winston Churchill. [read more…]
Bambi is a mystery female street artist. A St. Martin’s Art College graduate, she has been active as a graffiti artist around Islington (London) for the past 5 years or so. Many of her street pieces are still visible at different locations and she has received wide praise for her public murals of figures such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Queen, and a full portrait of Amy Winehouse. Perhaps her most famous piece, Bambi’s tribute to the legendary singer in Camden was famously whitewashed and repainted later in a slightly different version with Amy wearing a yellow dress instead of the original red. The mural is now protected by Perspex and considered a metropolitan cultural milestone. Dubbed “The Female Banksy” by TV commentator and presenter David Dimbleby, her approach to street art is unique, blending the classic Stencil & Spray Paint technique with original media like diamond dust and gold leaf. Along with her street pieces, she creates original artworks on Canvas, Metal Plate, Raw Metal and Paper as well as commercial prints. Bringing a feminine touch to the street art scene, her artworks have a colourful and glittery feel that make her pieces appealing to a wider range of other art lovers than just graffiti fans. Speaking of her work in a very rare interview, the media-shy artist said: “I let my work speak for itself. But dreams can inspire me and I am particularly interested in people who spread love and joy…” Her subjects are often related to events and icons of the modern times like: Agent 007 star Daniel Craig,Usain Bolt, Chinese Artist and Activist Ai Wei-Wei, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Dita Von Teese, David Beckham,Prince William andKate Middleton.
Move over Banksy, here comes Bambi
Bambi’s artworks have been collected by many celebrities including Rihanna, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Adele, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Harry Styles and Louis Walsh just to name a few, as reported by many sources such as Sky news, Grazia, the Guardian… Kate Moss commissioned her to paint a personal street art portrait in the style of Andy Warhol’s iconic ‘Marilyn’ for a reported sum of £50,000. Bambi had her first official exhibition at Walton Fine Arts Gallery in London (Knightsbridge) last November and she is rapidly becoming a rising star of the British Urban Art scene. Enjoying more and more exposure in both National and International press, Bambi revealed she used to have a prominent career in the music business as singer. There has been speculation over what her real identity might be (M.I.A.? Paloma Faith? Geri Halliwell?) but to this day it still remains a well-kept secret. Mystery Islington Street Artist Bambi recently reportedly expressed anger at a street piece going under the hammer at Rosebery’s auction house in West Norwood, saying that the street piece “is meant to be left on the street for everyone to enjoy. The street is the gallery of the public”. The piece, allegedly by her, was sprayed on a door in Islington (“Top Fashion Accessory 2011”) but was withdrawn from the auction.
After being regularly talked about by the press worldwide and European TV, Bambi made her début on British National TV on Friday the 21st of June 2013 when she was featured on the latest episode of Channel 4’s “Four Rooms” and introduced as the “latest girl on the block” during a contestant’s attempt to sell a Banksy.
In July 2013, Bambi created a new street piece to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on a front door in Mandela Street (London NW1). The mural’s tagline reads “It always seems impossible until it’s done”, a famous quote by Mandela himself.
In September, a new Amy Winehouse graffiti appeared on a Camden wall in coincidence with a series of charitable events to raise funds for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, taking place around what would have been the singer’s 30th birthday.
Bambi mentioned in audio recording on Banksy’s website
Bambi was recently once more associated to Banksy, in a recent audio recording taken from Banksy’s website. According to the New York Daily News while talking about Banksy’s latest installation “Better Out Than In” in New York, an American male voice is heard saying: “This fully mobile, diesel-powered landscape is brought to you by the British graffiti artist Bambi,” The artist known as “Bambi” created the work while reading Keats, the voice says – then corrects itself. “Sorry, I misread that. The artist was completely pissed when he created this and it’s incomplete,” the voice intones. Both street artists’ identity is kept unknown.
“You’ve heard of Banksy, but have you heard of Bambi? Not the Bambi of Disney fame, but the one dubbed street art’s new star.The so-called ‘female Banksy’ counts A-list celebrities like Kanye West and Brad Pitt as buyers of her stencilled street art. Like Banksy, her works command price tags that run into the tens of thousands of dollars.”
“Just who is Bambi? The graffiti star was dubbed “the female Banksy” when she gained more widespread public attention in 2011 with the appearance of her striking image of the late Amy Winehouse on a Camden Town doorway. Like her male counterpart, she keeps her identity secret. And now, just like the renowned Bristol artist, her work costs tens of thousands of pounds: [..] today she is commissioned by international A-list entertainers, including Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.”
“In the world of street art, Bambi has it all: critical acclaim, celebrity clients ranging from Brad Pitt to Adele, and a stencil of Amy Winehouse on the street in Camden that’s considered to be so culturally important, it is now preserved under a fine layer of plastic. She has achieved this by projecting a distinctly female voice into the male-dominated world of urban etchings.”
“In an exclusive UK interview with Grazia, the notoriously elusive London based graffiti artist dubbed ‘the female Banksy’ reveals her secret past and what inspires her: ’The images come to me when I’m dreaming…’. Rather than reference other female graffiti artists such as Miss Van and Mishfit, her artistic inspirations encompass ‘Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon’, suggesting a meeting of pop-trash culture and Albionic classicism. ‘Art is the pulse of life,’ she adds. It’s unlikely, though, that she’ll indulge in a turf war with the notoriously competitive Banksy [..] When asked how she felt about the legendary spray painter, she quipped, ‘Who’s he?’. Clearly, the future’s all hers.”
“Once in a while, refreshing artists like Bambi give me faith in art again and act as a reassuring reminder that art is a thinking man’s activity, and is not simply reserved for the ever-growing horde of easily-entranced, amateur art experts…The immediate similarities with Banksy are obvious – not least of all her collection of celebrity fans that includes Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Adele and Brad Pitt – but while Britain’s street art King is all caustic wit, Bambi’s message is often more subtle and hopeful.”
“Street art is a macho and hard area, let’s face it. When it first arrived in Britain in the late eighties and early nineties it was seen as a yet another social-ill from America. Bambi’s work is refreshing because she doesn’t seek to challenge society, rather reflect it… Traditional street art is focused at provoking action, a spontaneous response – a reflex almost, because it was born out of a desire to rebel. In contrast Bambi merely seeks to stimulate thought, in turn provoking action… The street art sphere hungers for a softer, feminine touch.”