Banksy's First Name Revealed in Lost Archival Interview

As part of the BBC’s “The Banksy Story” podcast series.

Art
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Banksy‘s identity may have finally been uncovered via yesterday’s episode of BBC‘s podcast series “The Banksy Story.” Well, at least partially.

The revelatory segment referenced an unheard 2003 interview between former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench, who asked the elusive street artist if his name was “Robert Banks” — which British newspaper The Independent had reported that week — in lieu of his Turf War exhibition that went on view in London later that year. “It’s Robbie,” the artist responded.

To Banksy enthusiasts, Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack instantly comes to mind — the Bristol-born musician who has long been rumored to be the artist. But while it’s entirely unclear whether Robbie or Robert was just another ploy to play with the media, the name “Robbie Banks” does ring a bell and surely plays into the mystique he’s created.

Within the archival interview, Banksy also goes in-depth about the aim behind his work, including his thoughts on whether graffiti should be considered vandalism. “I’m interested in injustice,” the artist asserted. “Who has the right to judge anybody else? If you’ve ever fallen foul of the justice system then it turns you very skeptical about everything, so I guess I like to turn it on its head a little bit… I’m into working out who really is the good guys.”

Listen to the full series of “The Banksy Story” on BBC Sounds.

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