Bambi is the tag name of the anonymous London street artist famous for her gritty stencil and aerosol spray paint work. The moniker was born from her childhood nickname, ‘Bambino,’ when she first began tagging in London, gaining visibility in 2010. Trained at Central Saint Martins, her street work can now be found throughout Central London as well the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden.
Initially hailed by the BBC commentator David Dimbleby as ‘the female Banksy,’1 Bambi has evolved into her own unique brand of artist-provocateur, tackling themes of feminism, street violence, political injustice and popular culture with wit and irony. She often creates stencils of known contemporary figures to offer pointed social and political commentary. She has produced highly visible and public murals incorporating The Royal Family, Amy Winehouse, David Beckham and Ai Wei Wei.2
In the current lot, titled Tata (Red), Bambi lends her style to a depiction of an elderly Nelson Mandela wearing his characteristically bright shirt, with his fist raised in salute. Tagged with the inscription “It always seems impossible... until it’s done” the work was produced in the same year as Mandela’s passing, and is a tribute to a world leader that captured not only the hearts of South Africans, but the international community at large.