Who is Banksy? It has been one of the art world’s, perhaps even pop culture’s, most enduring mysteries since the street artist burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. But we may be one step closer to discovering the artist’s true identity following the recent discovery of a lost BBC interview in which Banksy appears to confirm his name.
The BBC reported this on Monday that it had unearthed a 2003 interview between young aspiring street artist Banksy and former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench. The original recording was edited for a spot on BBC radio, which was then used as part of the BBC podcast series The Banksy story which was released in July. But after listening to the podcast series, Wrench was inspired to revisit the full original recording and discovered much more hidden information about the artist that was never used.
In the audio recording discovered, Wrench speaks to Banksy, who was in his 20s at the time, in front of the artist Turf war showinEastLondoninthe maintainedofrenewediscontinuallyrepeatedifhisnameiscontinuallyandthecontinuouscontinuouscontinued
Banksy’s identity has long fascinated the art world, and particularly the feverish tabloid press in the United Kingdom. The artist rarely gives interviews, and this has added to his mystique. In one of his few early interviews The artist spoke to the Guardian in 2003, and he was described as “white, 28, unkempt casual look – jeans, T-shirt, silver tooth, silver chain and silver earring.” He looks like a cross between Jimmy Nail and Mike Skinner from the Streets.”
Over the past two decades, various people have been identified as Banksy, most notably Robert Del Naja, also known as 3D and co-founder of the hugely influential trip-hop band Massive Attack. The alleged evidence that Del Naja was Banksy included that they were both from the Bristol area and that the musician also dabbled in graffiti when he was young. Jamie Hewlett, the artist and designer best known for co-creating the band Gorillaz and the comic Tank Girlhas also been suspected in the past to be Banksy’s true identity.
In 2008, The Daily Mail claims that a Bristol-based man called Robin Gunningham was Banksy. The newspaper spoke to Gunningham’s school friends and classmates to confirm the story. The Mail reports that Gunningham initially went by the name Robin Banks, which later became Banksy. In October, The Sunday Times reported that a defamation lawsuit could force Gunningham to reveal his identity to clarify whether he is behind famous murals.