Arguably one of the most iconic artist of our generation. A man who works in the shadows and who’s identity is still unknown. So why are so many people obsessed with finding out who the real Banksy is.?
The man the myth the legend, Banksy has taken the whole world by storm. With his raw political pieces of art appearing over night and letting us all know someone is fighting the system from the shadows. A man who really has pushed the envelope of what graffiti could and should be.
My personal experience of Banksy goes all the way back to the late 90s in Bristol. As a young kid walking or more often skating around the city streets, pieces by Banksy would appear around the city breaking up the grey and often grim Bristol streets as they were back then. Years later Banksy has become a household name with his pieces appearing world wide. Often political, thought provoking, funny and sometimes a mixture of all of these areas. He truly has a way of making us see things differently with these works of arts.
One of the pioneers of using stencils to paint graffiti he has managed to push the mould of what graffiti was and is with relative ease. Growing up we would hear stories about his latest pieces & masterpieces in and around Bristol. Normally after pulling an all nighter we would go looking for these pieces and laugh as someone in the know would tell us the story behind that particular piece of art work. Banksy so often painting quite openly using the ‘I work for the council as a back up plan if he was questioned’.
Rising from stencil pieces to elaborate pieces of art work and full blown exhibitions. Banksy is the ultimate graffiti/urban artist with his pieces selling for serious amounts of money. The money in most cases he donates to charity a modern day Robin Hood of the art world.
Over the years he has been tracked and hunted down by journalists and the authorities yet we still don’t know who he truly is. Last week Goldie let slip in an interview that Banksy went by the name of Robert:
“Give me a bubble letter, and put it on a T-shirt, and write Banksy on it, and we’re sorted, we’re OK, we’re good,” he said. “We can sell it now. We can make it something else. No disrespect to Rob. I think he’s a brilliant artist. I think he’s flipped the world of art over.”
This set the worlds media alight with claims that this Robert had to be none other than Massive Attacks 3D aka Robert Del Naja.
The speculation is that Goldie meant Del Naja, as the pair have been longtime friends and Del Naja got his start in graffiti; not to mention Goldie’s casual usage of the name, which indicates familiarity. There have been Banksy pieces appearing in cities across the world days after Massive Attack have performed there. As well as some uncanny similarities between Banksy work and art work done for Massive Attacks album covers which 3D directly contributed to. To date Del Naja denies being Banksy but has said its a nice idea.
Now just another brain bender what if Banksy is not one person and in fact a collective of artists all working under the Banksy name? Of course Banksy would work with a close and trusted team on his bigger pieces and exhibitions. But could Banksy really be a Graffiti collective appose to one man..?
These endless possibilities are of course fun to debate and contemplate as we can never be sure if any of its true. Yet so many people including the worlds media are almost obsessed with finding and exposing who Banksy truly is. Of course its their job in the media to find out whatever they can to sell papers & magazines.
I personally hope we never find out who Banksy is. He is the Robin Hood of the art world and for me is the closest thing we have to Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny. A real life hero making his way around the world painting and provoking from the shadows. Long live Banksy and may his identity remain forever unknown.