The identity of the infamously elusive Banksy, ever a hot topic in the art world, has been buzzing for the last while thanks to ongoing legal battles for the artist. This has unsurprisingly spurred an increase in speculation on the artist’s identity based on various threads of explanation and has resulted in some publications stating Banksy’s identity has finally been revealed. But how much weight do we give to the idea of “Robert Banks” as a real monicker?
Citing a recently unearthed interview from BBC, a conversation between Banksy and interviewer Nigel Wrench in which Wrench asks the artist if his name is “Robert Banks” and the artist responds “It’s Robbie,” multiple publications are now jumping on the idea that the name of the beloved graffiti artist has finally been discovered.
While there may be truth in the Rob part of the artist’s name (given both this evidence as well as the fact that two of the most stated possibilities for Banksy’s identity are Robert Del Naja and Robin Gunningham) it doesn’t seem all that likely that this mystery has come to its conclusion. Banksy has exhibited a history of meticulous planning around his work to maintain his anonymity, and even if it was earlier in his career with less of a scope of how influential he would become, it feels out of character to have such a slip-up in an interview.
But more pressingly…
Rob Banks? Really??
So far the claims of Banksy’s name being nailed down are nothing more than speculation. But given the ongoing legal battles he’s had and the sheer ramp-up of intrigue around unveiling the artist behind the works, it seems like only a matter of time before his identity, Robert Banks or otherwise, finally comes to light.