After decades of speculation, the elusive street artist known only by his pseudonym Banksy has revealed his name.
When asked if he goes by “Robert Banks” in a lost — and recently rediscovered — BBC interview from 20 years ago, the graffitist admitted: “It’s Robbie.”
The artist has remained largely anonymous over the years, despite his distinctive street art and high-profile hijinks, such as shredding his infamous “Girl with Balloon” immediately after it was auctioned for $1.4 million.
The 2003 interview also included Banksy’s first defense and reasoning behind his iconic work.
“I’m not here to apologize for it,” he said at the time. “It’s a quicker way of making your point, right?”
He added: “I want to get it done and dusted.”
But his vandalistic art form has caused trouble for people who have been “Banksied” — or tagged — who described hoards of ogling fans, the pressure to protect the art and, for some, the inability to sell their homes featuring the mural.
One couple forked over an estimated $247,000 to remove a piece of his work from the side of their home after it became “extremely stressful” to look after.
And, while critics denounce Banksy’s coveted defacements, the secretive graffiti artist encouraged others to “Go Out! Trash things! Have fun!” in the BBC interview.
“Other people, they can change it. They can get rid of it,” said Banksy, who also admitted he wouldn’t be attending his own show at the time because graffitist are not “in a position” to “stand next to your work.”
His secret, photographer-turned-agent Steve Lazarides previously told The Guardian, is to sport high-vis vests and lay out traffic cones because “nobody stops you if you have them” — in other words, act like they own the place.
Despite one run-in with a group of NYC sex workers who managed to catch a glimpse of the art and called the cops, they managed to get away with the murals without a hitch.
In 2019, Banksy’s confidant published a book of identity-concealing images featuring the famously anonymous guerrilla artist creating his masterpieces.
“I worked with him for 11 glorious years, during which time we broke every rule in the rule book along with a fair few laws,” Lazarides previously told The Post.