Banksy confirmed his real name in a recently unearthed interview from 2003 (Picture: Banksy)
The interview, which was recorded 20 years ago on Radio 4, is finally being broadcast for the first time as part of a BBC documentary titled The Banksy Story.
Banksy, who has remained anonymous throughout his career, spoke to former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench about the anti-authority nature of his work still present today.
At one point during the interview, Banksy appeared to confirm his first name.
The graffiti artist has kept his identity secret for more than 20 years (Picture: PA)
‘Are you happy for me to use your name? I mean, The Independent has,’ Wrench asked Bansky, who replied: ‘Yeah.’
‘Is it Robert Banks?’ the journalist continued, to which Banksy replied: ‘It’s Robbie.’ ‘Robbie. OK. Robbie,’ Wrench reiterated.
The graffiti artist’s identity has long been a subject of speculation. One such name is that of Robin Gunningham, who was recently named as the first defendant in a legal action accusing the artist and his company Pest Control Ltd of defamation.
Another possible suspect was musician Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, whose tour dates coincided with a number of Banksy installations.
Several artists and musicians have been assumed ti be Banksy over the years (Picture: PA)
Visual artist Jamie Graham, who helped co-create Gorillaz with Blur frontman Damon Albarn, is another possible contender.
Elsewhere in the interview, Banksy – or Banks – spoke about whether graffiti is vandalism: ‘If it’s done properly it is illegal! But I got a good reaction I think off most people from my work. You know, I’ve even had policemen in the past say they kind of like things about it, but… I just think it’s my right to go out and paint it.’
‘And it is equally somebody else’s right to go out and paint over it if they don’t like it, you know? It doesn’t actually take very long with a bucket of white paint to paint over things. I think it’s better if you treat the city like a big playground, you know? It’s there to mess about in, you know?’
The Banksy Story is available on BBC Sounds now.
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