10 Banksy Quotes from “Existencilism” Book

Banksy’s second book, “Existencilism,” published in 2002 by Weapons of Mass Distraction, is a compact and stylish black book that fits easily in your pocket. Upon opening the book, readers are greeted with a colourful collection of stencil art, vandalism, quotes, and commentary.

The pocket-size book includes some of Banksy’s most insightful and inspiring quotes, with topics ranging from politics and capitalism to art and society. In this editorial, we have selected ten of his most notable quotes from the book mixed with some of Banksy murals from the last two decades that will inspire you.


“There’s nothing more dangerous
than someone who wants to make the world a better place.”



“Being yourself is overrated anyway. It doesn’t help.
People say I’m just being myself’ as if that’s some kind of achievement.
That’s not an achievement, that’s not honesty,
it’s lack of imagination and cowardice.”



“Last year there was a story on the news that went
‘A man arrested in Central London today was found to be carrying over a hundred British passports, twenty birth certificates and more than three hundred driving licenses.
Police say they have not yet been able to identify the man.”



“All artists are willing to suffer for their work.
But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?”


Image Copyright Banksy


“Painting something that defies the law of the land is ok.
Painting something that defies the law of the land
and defies the law of gravity at the same time is ideal.”



“This is not a photo opportunity.”



“They say there is a graffiti problem.
The only problem with graffiti is that there isn’t enough of it.”



“Policemen and security guards always wear hats with a peak that comes down low over their eyes. Apparently this is a psychological technique because eyebrows are very expressive,
they let you down if you’re lying or trying to bully somebody.
You have far more authority if you keep them covered up.
The advantage of this is that it makes it difficult for your average cop to see anything
more than six foot off the ground. Which is why painting rooftops and bridges is so easy.


Purchase artwork here


Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases.
Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a living breathing thing which belonged to everybody, not just the estate agents and barons of big business.
Imagine a city like this and stop leaning against that wall – it’s wet.



“They say there is a graffiti problem.
The only problem with graffiti is that there isn’t enough of it.”


Official Banksy Books

Five official Banksy books have been released to date. Banksy released three pocket-sized paper books titled “Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall” book (2001), “Existstencilism” book (2002) and “Cut It Out book” (2004). Then, “Wall and Piece” (2005), which contains a lot of information from the previous books, and his most recent book that went with his Glasgow exhibition of the same name “, Cut And Run” (2023).


Title: Existencilism – a clever play on the word “Existentialism”- a system of ideas made famous by Jean-Paul Sartre in the 1940s in which the world has no meaning and each person is alone and completely responsible for their own actions, by which they make their own character: Cambridge Dictionary.

Dimensions: 148 x 105mm

Medium: Collectible paperback book authored by Banksy, 54 colour pages.

Pagination: 52pp (Plural pages) & 4ppc (Printed Paper Case)

Published: By Weapons Of Mass Distraction in 2002.

Provenance: Artist-plated signature on front cover.

Editions (x2): Two editions. The first edition was published in 2002, and the second edition was printed in 2007 by EPM.

“Existstencilism” by BanksyImage copyright EPM

Purchase Existencilism (Second Edition) here.

All Images Copyright Banksy



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