Banksy’s Identity Finally Revealed
Since emerging in the early 2000s, Banksy, the Bristol-based street artist, has kept his identity shrouded in mystery. Throughout the years, several individuals have been associated with the pseudonym, including Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett and Massive Attack co-founder Robert Del Naja, due to their ties to Bristol and involvement in graffiti.
Recently uncovered audio from the BBC in 2003 seems to suggest that Banksy is a Robert, but not Del Naja.
During an interview with Nigel Wrench, the esteemed BBC arts correspondent, the emerging street artist discussed his upcoming Turf War exhibit in East London during the summer of 2003. Wrench requested permission to use the artist’s real name in the interview, noting that The Independent had already done so. He then inquired if the artist’s name was “Robert Banks,” to which he responded, “It’s Robbie.”
The BBC podcast series, The Banksy Story, released in July, included a modified version of the recording. After listening to the series, Wrench was motivated to re-examine the complete original recording and uncovered crucial information about the artist that had not been utilized.
In a recent interview, a young Banksy discusses the debate over whether graffiti should be deemed as vandalism. He believes that if executed correctly, it is indeed against the law. However, he has received positive reactions from most individuals for his work and even some policemen have expressed appreciation for aspects of it. Ultimately, he views it as his prerogative to go out and create graffiti.
“It is also within someone else’s rights to cover up the graffiti if they do not appreciate it. It can easily be done with a container of white paint. Personally, I believe that the city should be viewed as a large playground where one can freely express themselves.”