How DOES Banksy earn his money? Secretive artist is thought to make millions a year through book and film royalties and selling his work through an agency

  •  Banksy’s artwork went through a shredder the moment it was sold in London
  •  Anonymous Banksy has slammed the concept of ‘commerical success’ for artists
  •  How does the street artist, worth more than $20million a year, make his money?

Joseph Laws For Mailonline

Street artist Banksy is estimated to have a net worth of more than $20million (£15million) a year. But how does he make his money? 

The elusive artist’s Girl With Red Balloon artwork was sold at auction yesterday for more than £1million, before shredding the moment it was sold.

He has previously slammed the concept of ‘commercial success’ and has encouraged people not to buy his work. 

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The packed auction house gasped as the Bansky work destroyed itself moments after being sold on Friday in London

The packed auction house gasped as the Bansky work destroyed itself moments after being sold on Friday in London

The auction house was forced to admit it got 'Banksy-ed' after the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame

The auction house was forced to admit it got 'Banksy-ed' after the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame

The auction house was forced to admit it got ‘Banksy-ed’ after the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame

He does not earn money from his wall mural work, and sprayed One Nation Under CCTV on building on a London street in 2007.

It depicted a small girl being watched by a CCTV camera, a security guard and a dog. 

The mural was removed by Westminster City Council a year later.

The artist has called out ‘unauthorised’ galleries and outlets which profit from the his creative pieces. 

When his artwork is sold, he prefers the money to go to charity instead.

Last year, he drew Civilian Drone Strike, depicting three drones bombing a house as a girl watches on.

The artwork sold for £200,000 at an auction which raised money to oppose an arms fair taking place in London. 

Banksy makes his money through publishing books about his work which he earns royalties from.

His best-selling book Wall and Piece was published in 2005 by Random House Publishing. 

Banksy's now famous Girl With Red Heart Balloon, first sprayed in 2002, on display  in Moscow earlier this year

Banksy's now famous Girl With Red Heart Balloon, first sprayed in 2002, on display  in Moscow earlier this year

Banksy’s now famous Girl With Red Heart Balloon, first sprayed in 2002, on display in Moscow earlier this year

Perspex now covers the Banksy graffiti art on a disused drawbridge in Hull after it was defaced in January earlier this year

Perspex now covers the Banksy graffiti art on a disused drawbridge in Hull after it was defaced in January earlier this year

Perspex now covers the Banksy graffiti art on a disused drawbridge in Hull after it was defaced in January earlier this year

A pedestrian walks by the work by elusive British street artist Bansky in March this year: a mural showing support for an imprisoned Turkish-Kurdish artist and journalist

A pedestrian walks by the work by elusive British street artist Bansky in March this year: a mural showing support for an imprisoned Turkish-Kurdish artist and journalist

A pedestrian walks by the work by elusive British street artist Bansky in March this year: a mural showing support for an imprisoned Turkish-Kurdish artist and journalist

He also directed a documentary called Exit Through The Gift Shop, exploring modern and underground art.

The film is about a young French artist who goes looking for Bansky, and the artist also earned money from this.

The film grossed more than $5million (£3million) and was nominated for an Academy Award.

He also sells pieces through his agency, called Pest Control, which also validates his work to prevent fraud.

Pest Control claims it is now the ‘sole point of sale for new work by Banksy’.

But the artist does not want his commercial success to define him. 

The mural, painted ten years ago in London, depicts a child painting the words 'One Nation Under CCTV' with a security guard watching him

The mural, painted ten years ago in London, depicts a child painting the words 'One Nation Under CCTV' with a security guard watching him

The mural, painted ten years ago in London, depicts a child painting the words ‘One Nation Under CCTV’ with a security guard watching him

Banksy's Slave Labour piece sprayed on a wall in north London in May 2012, which became iconic

Banksy's Slave Labour piece sprayed on a wall in north London in May 2012, which became iconic

Banksy’s Slave Labour piece sprayed on a wall in north London in May 2012, which became iconic

The Mild Mild West Polar Bear Riot Police Bomb Graffiti sprayed by Banksy on the outside of Hamilton House in Bristol

The Mild Mild West Polar Bear Riot Police Bomb Graffiti sprayed by Banksy on the outside of Hamilton House in Bristol

The Mild Mild West Polar Bear Riot Police Bomb Graffiti sprayed by Banksy on the outside of Hamilton House in Bristol

Speaking to Village Voice back in 2013, the artist said: ‘Graffiti art has a hard enough life as it is, before you add hedge-fund managers wanting to chop it out and hang it over the fireplace. 

‘For the sake of keeping all street art where it belongs, I’d encourage people not to buy anything by anybody, unless it was created for sale in the first place.’ 

The true identity of the street artist remains unknown.  

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