Browse all

Has Banksy's real name truly been discovered?

He had revealed it in an interview dating back to 2003

Has Banksy's real name truly been discovered? He had revealed it in an interview dating back to 2003

We may have uncovered Banksy's real name. In the latest episode of the BBC podcast, The Banksy Story, a snippet of an old interview with the artist from 2003 was released to the public. During the conversation, Nigel Welch, a correspondent for the American publication, asked the mysterious artist if his real name was Robert Banks. Banksy's response was as follows: «Its Robbie.» For fans of the graffiti artist, the first name that comes to mind is Robert Del Naja, the singer of Massive Attack, long associated with Banksy. However, the artist's response from 2003 creates an even greater aura of mystery. Is his given name Robbie or Robert? These further speculations follow the latest updates, which reported that his real name could have come to light during a legal process. In 2022, as explained in this Artribune article, Banksy, through his own Instagram profile, invited looters to target a Guess brand store, which had used his works in a collection without his permission. Banksy's action inevitably led to a legal battle that may have reached a dramatic turning point due to a defamation lawsuit conducted by Full Color Black, a company managed by Andrew Gallagher, who is also the owner of Brandalised. This company had collaborated with Guess in the production of items featuring Banksy's artworks. The turning point we are referring to concerns the name of Robin Gunningham, which is mentioned in the documents and is believed to be associated with Banksy. However, it should be noted that this news was reported by the notoriously unreliable tabloid, the Daily Mail. The claimant suing Banksy for nearly £1.4 million is Andrew Gallagher. It involves seeking damages of at least £1,357,086 and an injunction against alleged defamation.

@rudgedailynews Banksy's Real Name #banksy #banksyart #art #artist #artistsoftiktok #si_rudge #breakingnews #rudgedailynews #news #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #story #storytime #viral #viralvideo original sound - RudgeDailyNews

Gallagher's legal case targets both Banksy and Pest Control Office Limited, the entity that authenticates the artist's works. Furthermore, the conflict between Gallagher and Banksy has been ongoing for over ten years, specifically since Full Color Black started selling images of Banksy without any permission. Gallagher's lawyer added, «The worst thing that could happen to Banksy would be to be unmasked by appearing in court. His art would change in the eyes of the public if someone were to discover his identity and the story behind him.» Full Color Black is known in the UK for its production of greeting cards, but on its website, it is evident that the company specializes in licensing and commercializing street art. Additionally, as also explained by Il Post, Full Color Black and Brandalised leverage the fact that graffiti is a form of art found in public spaces, and as such, UK laws regarding photography and the public domain allow anyone who registers the rights to a specific image to use it commercially. Therefore, an artist whose work is being used without permission may contest this appropriation and assert their copyright. However, there is a caveat: graffiti on public or private property is a crime in many countries, which is why very few artists come forward and why Full Color Black can claim rights to replicate street art on t-shirts, mugs, and greeting cards and sell them without having to share the proceeds with the original artist. Today, more than ever, we could be close to the resolution of one of the most intriguing mysteries in the world of art.