Home / Funny / Viral / 2003 Interview Reveals Real First Name Of Famous Banksy Artist


Banksy is a well-known artist whose pieces fetch millions of dollars when they go up for auction. Even so, one of the greatest mysteries in contemporary art is still the identity of the elusive artist. The artist's first name appears to be confirmed by a recently discovered interview. In the summer of 2003, Banksy was interviewed by former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench about the launch of his Turf War exhibition. The artist was then questioned by the reporter if his name was "Robert Banks," as that week's The Independent newspaper had reported. "It's Robbie," the performer answered. Not all of the interview was used, including that particularly revealing section, even though some of it did air that year. 

Now that he's listened to the BBC podcast The Banksy Story about the artist's legacy, Wrench is motivated to find the entire interview on a minidisc in his home. The podcast's production was long since finished, but the unearthing of the long-lost interview inspired them to release a bonus episode with the never-before-heard interview. Robert Del Naja, a musician for the band Massive Attack, is mentioned in one of the most widely accepted theories about who Banksy is. It has long been suspected that he is the artist, having come out of the Bristol art scene and experimenting with graffiti. The artist would definitely be a "Robbie" or "Robert" if the interview were to be taken seriously.

However, the interview also provides an insight into Banksy's creative process for those who have long been enthralled with his work. The artist defines graffiti as a faster way to make a point when asked if it should be regarded as vandalism. "It is illegal if done correctly! However, I believe the majority of my coworkers responded favourably to me. It's funny, I've even had police officers tell me they kind of like it, but. He says, "I just feel like I should be able to go outside 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?”

Listen to the complete interview of The Banksy Story on BBC Sounds.

Article Tags: Viral Banksy Artist Name First Real

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