Who is Banksy? The wild theories and possible true identity of the world famous graffiti artist

His subversive murals and installations are famous round the world – however the true identity of the world-famous Banksy has by no means formally been confirmed.

The riddle over the elusive artist definitely provides to the curiosity in his highly-prized work, which frequently seems on the sides of buildings with no warning.

A lot of his work is in Bristol, together with Nicely Hung Lover on the metropolis’s busy Park Avenue and the Lady with a Pearl Earing on the harbourside, however now he has items scattered round the globe and even in war-torn Ukraine.

There have been enormous artwork exhibitions of his work, together with in London and New York, and even a theme park named Dismaland in Weston-super-Mare.

His recognition has led to copycats with artists utilizing stencils in an identical vein. There is just one true Banksy however the query nonetheless stays – who is he?

What can we learn about Banksy?

We don’t have a reputation, formally at the very least. However we all know one thing of his formative years. The story goes he was born in the city of Yate, close to Bristol, earlier than rising up in the metropolis, the place he turned impressed by the avenue artwork and music scene, together with Nineteen Nineties music pioneers like Large Assault and Portishead.

Banksy’s Aachoo, which appeared on the aspect of a home in Bristol, and has since been eliminated on the market


He first attracted consideration in the Nineteen Nineties for spray-painting trains and partitions and it was then, along with his artwork thought of prison harm, that the foundations for his anonymity started.

As his popularity soared, his first giant stencil mural,The Gentle Gentle West, appeared in the Bristol’s Stokes Croft space in 1999. The image, exhibiting a teddy bear hurling a Molotov cocktail at three riot police, nonetheless stands at the moment. At the flip of the millennium, Banksy created items in London to additional set up himself as a world-leading grafitti artist.

Banksy’s first giant stencil mural’ The Gentle Gentle West, in Stokes Croft, Bristol

(Morgane Bigault)

Does anybody actually know who he is?

After all, there are some folks whom Banksy can have needed to determine himself to throughout his profession, working alongside fellow avenue artists who’ve loyally stored his secret.

There are additionally these in his residence metropolis of Bristol who will probably have performed in the identical soccer group as him, with the artist showing between the aim sticks for the Easton Cowboys. (It’s not identified if he used his nickname to name for catches of the soccer at corners and freekicks).

Nevertheless, all who know him have adhered to the unwritten rule that you simply don’t reveal the secret behind the international superstar.

Hundreds attended the Dismaland theme park, created by Banksy, on Weston-super-Mare’s seafront in 2015

(Rex Options)

Wild theories

As with every thriller, there’s been a good quantity of theories about Banksy’s identity over the years.

One of the most famous claims is that he is Large Assault’s Robert Del Naja, primarily residing a double life in plain sight. Raised in Bristol and additionally a reputation in the graffiti artist scene, it’s no shock Del Naja, additionally identified to as 3D, is linked.

The group even performed off the thought after they carried out at Bristol’s Downs Pageant in 2016, with lighting throughout the gig exhibiting the phrase “We’re all Banksy”, to dramatic impact.

Robert Del Naja of the British group Large Assault, has been rumoured to be Banksy, however it appears unlikely

(Carl De Souza/Getty Photographs)

One other famous title typically put ahead is drum and bass legend Goldie, though the Wolverhampton-raisesd star appeared to present away Banksy’s first title as “Rob” throughout his weekly podcast in 2017 suggesting he isn’t the man behind the spray can.

Then we have now a couple of different names, much less well-known to these exterior the artwork world. in 2014, an American information web site claimed Liverpool-based Paul Horner was Banksy, and the following 12 months US-based artist Richard Preiffer was linked.

Almost certainly identity

One title linked to Banksy which refuses to go away is Robin Gunningham. First “unmasked” in a world exclusive in 2008, connections between the artist and the former Bristol Cathedral Faculty pupil have solely strengthened over time.

In 2016, scientists at Queen Mary College claimed to have “tagged” Banksy, by figuring out a sample between the areas the place his graffiti artworks most often appeared and addresses with a detailed affiliation to Mr Gunningham.

Is that this Robin Gunningham? It seems the most definitely identity of Banksy is the Bristol-educated artist

(Pay attention: Banksy confirms title for first time in BBC interview)

Two years later, and Mr Gunningham’s signature appeared on two items of work provided on the market.

Then we had the “Rob” reference to the artist by Goldie, earlier than a BBC interview from again in 2003 emerged 10 years later, showing to disclose Banksy’s identity in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.

“Are you cheerful for me to make use of your title? I imply, The Unbiased has,” former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench asks the artist, who replied: “Yeah.”

Winston Churchill depicted with a lime inexperienced mohican in Banksy’s 2003 exhibition in London referred to as Turf Conflict

(Copyright 2022 The Related Press. All rights reserved)

Official unmasking

Affirmation of Banksy’s true identity might be quickly coming as a consequence of a Excessive Court docket case, as reported by the Evening Standard.

The artist and his playfully-named firm Pest Management Ltd, which sells his work, face claims they broken the popularity of a rival over a social media publish that includes a picture of Banksy’s work in the store window of GUESS trend retailer in Regent Avenue, London.

As half of the proceedings, the true identity of the artist might be revealed in courtroom.

Not fairly the place he would have deliberate it, however certainly it is solely a matter of time earlier than a giant reveal takes place.

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