Banksy’s cover finally blown — What’s next for graffiti icon

Speculation about Banksy’s identity has circulated for years, with names like Robin Gunningham surfacing as potential matches

Graffitis made by Banksy.—Sothbeys
Graffiti’s made by Banksy.—Sothbeys

The elusive identity of renowned graffiti artist Banksy has allegedly been uncovered, with an unearthed BBC interview pointing to a man named Robbie Banks as the real persona behind the iconic street art.

The revelation, shared on November 20, 2023, adds a new layer to the long-standing mystery surrounding Banksy’s true identity.

The interview, dating back to 2003 during Banksy’s Turf War exhibition in east London, captures the moment when the artist, asked by the interviewer if they can use his name, responds with a straightforward, “Yeah.” When probed further about his name being Robert Banks, Banksy clarifies, “It’s Robbie.” Despite the interview being from 2003, BBC decided to release the full interview only 20 years later.

The speculation about Banksy’s identity has circulated for years, with names like Robin Gunningham surfacing as potential matches. Gunningham was implicated in a legal case against Banksy and Pest Control Ltd for defamation. 

A photograph of a man in Jamaica also emerged in 2008, claiming to be Robin Gunningham, but Banksy denied any connection to the image.

The revelation sheds light on the longstanding mystery, challenging previous speculations that suggested individuals like Robert del Naja, a graffiti artist and member of The Wild Bunch, or even Neil Buchanan, the Art Attack star. 

Buchanan vehemently denied the rumours when they surfaced in 2020, emphasizing that he is not Banksy. Another name thrown into the mix is French artist Mr Brainwash, whose work has been compared to Banksy’s, although he has neither confirmed nor denied any connection to the mysterious artist.

As Banksy’s real name is seemingly confirmed through the unearthed interview, the art world is left to reconsider the various theories that have shrouded the artist’s identity for years. The long-suppressed BBC interview, now available on BBC Sounds as “The Bansky Story,” offers audiences a glimpse into Banksy’s thoughts on the anti-authority nature of his work.

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