MYSTERY SHROUDS 'FEMALE BANKSY'
Millions have
her records...
but no idea
  she's Bambi
– manager Lenny Villa
EXCLUSIVE by
SHARON FEINSTEIN
HER URBAN art has seen her dubbed “the female Banksy” and attracted legions of celebrity fans.

And just like her male counterpart, street artist Bambi is retaining her anonymity, despite commissions from Rihanna, Kate Moss and David Beckham.

She also has good reason — Bambi is an international pop star who has sold millions of records.

So the mysterious painter, whose work hangs on celebrities’ walls, also hangs out with them.

Born in trendy Hoxton, London, and a graduate of the capital’s Central Saint Martin’s art college, she has daubed the capital with her unique portraits for the past five years.

Her alias comes from her childhood nickname — her father called her “Bambino” as a child.

One of her most famous works is a tribute to Amy Winehouse — painted near the late singer’s Camden home.

The image, Amy Jade, above right, is seen as such a cultural landmark that it has been protected with a Perspex cover.

Bambi’s surging popularity means her paintings now sell for anything up to £100,000.

Only three people in the world know her identity — one of those, her manager Lenny Villa, says: “If people knew who she was they’d fall on the floor in shock.

“Millions have her records but have no idea she’s Bambi.”

Love

Speaking through Lenny, the superstar artist gave her first ever interview as Bambi to The Sun.

She said: “In the back of my mind there was always this

unfulfilled passion, my big love, which is painting, so I turned to that five years ago. When I started trading, the works on paper were around £400, now they’re £5,000. The paintings sell for up to six figures.

“I respect Banksy and know him well, but my inspiration is Andy Warhol. He was obsessed with celebrity culture and that’s what I am interested in.

“So far my collectors have been rich, but I want everyone to have one of my prints — from students to oil moguls.”

Of all her celebrity admirers, the artist was most excited by David Beckham’s desire to own a Bambi — so much so she let the footballer have one for free.

She said: “Beckham is our greatest ambassador — a unique figure who women want to sleep with and men want to be.

“I chose to paint him in his favourite pie and mash shop because I wanted him in a natural environment where everyone could associate with him.”

Last night Bambi posted a ten-minute film, Hero To Zero, online at hydeimage.com. The short reveals how she created six of her most iconic paintings.

The artist considers herself to be patriotic and a royalist.

One of her first street portraits was of Kate and Wills, titled A Bit Like Marmite, a reproduction of which was bought by actor Brad Pitt for fiancée Angelina Jolie.

Bambi plans a new image following the birth of the royal baby this summer — which she’ll give to the couple as a gift. Her next painting is of superstar Madonna — which she has shared exclusively with Sun readers, before Madge has seen it.

Bambi says: “I also have a commission to do a portrait of Angelina Jolie.

“I’m doing the Lara Croft image, as Lara’s a British figure and the Jolie-Pitts fell in love with Britain when they were here.”

Clues

The artist is keen to keep her real name secret but manager Lenny revealed clues to her identity.

He said: “I’m waiting for her to buy me a Ferrari because's She drives an Aston Martin. She loves all things Bond.

“Her favourite designer is Vivienne Westwood and she’s into sexy lingerie, because I’ve seen bags of Agent Provocateur in her car.

“She likes Paul A Young handmade chocolates, eats organic food and has Jamie Oliver cookbooks.

“She swims every morning, runs at weekends and is very fit.

“She has a flat in LA and one in the south of France.


BEFORE becoming a mystery woman of the art world, Bambi was a huge pop star. But which one? Here we put some singers in the frame.
ADELE – A fan of Bond? Adele has won an Oscar and Golden Globe for her 007 theme tune. She also grew up in London and leads a reclusive lifestyle.
VICTORIA BECKHAM – Has a home in LA from hubby David's time at LA Galaxy. Becks is a known Bambi fan - is he supporting his wife's new career?
PALOMA FAITH – Another St Martin's graduate, the singer was once invited to join Amy Winehouse's band. This may explain Bambi's fondness for the late singer.
GERI HALLIWELL – Like Bambi, the singer is a fitness fanatic. She's patriotic too - remember the ex-Spice Girl's Union Flag dress at the 1997 Brits?
M.I.A. – Bambi geaduated from Central St Martin's Art College, where M.I.A. also studied. Huge in America, she has even sung with Bambi customer Madonna.
SHARLEEN SPITERI – Our wild card entry. 'Bambino', as she was called by her dad, is the Italian word for baby or child. The Texas lead singer has Italian roots.