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In a rare unveiling within the elusive world of contemporary street art, a 2003 interview with the BBC has shed new light on the mysterious figure of Banksy, a name synonymous with provocative and groundbreaking artwork. This exceptional revelation, not only enriches the enigma surrounding Banksy but also provides a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal identity.
In an interview with the BBC, back in 2003, Banksy, known for his elusive nature, surprisingly disclosed his first name as Robbie, offering a rare insight into the man behind the globally recognized pseudonym. Banksy was asked whether his real name was Robert Banks, to which he simply replied, “It’s Robbie.” This piece of information significantly contributes to the ongoing curiosity about his identity, which has long been a subject of intense speculation, with various theories proposing names such as Robin or Robert Banks. In the same interview, part of a podcast bonus for the series entitled “The Banksy Story,” Banksy elaborated on his distinctive stenciling style. He described his method as “quick,” underscoring his preference for completing his artwork in an efficient manner. At the time, Banksy was in his 20s and was actively promoting his Turf War exhibition in East London.
The series further includes a 2005 interview, allegedly with Banksy, conducted by National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States. During this interview, the authenticity of Banksy’s identity was questioned, with the host inquiring, “We assume that you are who you say you are, but how can we be sure?” The response was typically enigmatic, “Oh, you have no guarantee of that at all.”
Banksy, originally from Bristol in Southwest England, has ascended to significant fame. His artworks, celebrated for their incisive political and social commentary, have attracted an A-list clientele and have been sold for tens of millions of pounds at auctions, particularly since his ascendance to notoriety in the early 2000s.