Much to the dismay of the Daily Mail, who seems to have cracked the mystery of the identity of Banksy, to most of us he remains an ever elusive and much revered street artist. With a keen sense of humor and sharp wit, Banksy’s art covers subjects such as politics, culture and ethics. And although the locations of his artworks and his distinct style can be spotted a mile away, the artist’s refusal to do interviews and fierce protectiveness of his identity has left us wondering. What would it be like if we bumped into him on the street? What if he stopped by for breakfast? Baltimore-based conceptual artist and mother of three, Julia Kim Smith’s latest series of photographs, With Banksy, explore life with Banksy in everyday situations; taking out the trash, eating breakfast, and doing household chores. Smith, whose work explores issues of identity, memory, and the artistic, social, and political landscape, visualized the images as film stills with actors aware of the roles that they were set to play.

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How would you describe yourself?
Artist, daughter of Korean immigrants, wife, mother of three… The most scandalous thing you can say about me is I drive a minivan.

How was your transition from graphic designer to artist?

I am a crossover artist with absolutely no regrets. My parents are immigrants from Korea in the US, and I had to be practical: I studied graphic design and worked as a designer though I had always wanted to be an artist, and for a while was doing both. Immigrants are practical people—Andy Warhol’s parents were immigrants and he also started as a commercial artist.

You work with different mediums, which do you feel most at ease with? And what are the mediums you’d like to explore next?
Prints and photography; I would like to explore web-based work.

What is common between all your art works?

I am interested in exploring issues of identity and in mapping the artistic, social, and political landscape. I work on what interests me.

In your latest project- you depict Banksy in different every day scenarios – why did you choose Banksy in particular to portray?
I had just watched his film “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” a funny, smart commentary on the art world. It got me thinking about Banksy’s work. He pulls off an impressive feat by being both the anonymous artist and the famous artist at the same  time. But by being anonymous, he is like Virginia Wolf’s anonymous woman—”Anonymous was a woman.”—or I suppose he  is like a woman in a burqa. Anyone can appropriate his identity. Which is exactly what I did: I appropriated his hooded identity and placed him in my own scenarios.

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http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/278047