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7.15.2008

outed: banksy

Everyone's favorite anonymous "graffiti" artist, Banksy, may have had his identity revealed by a British newspaper. M a y b e.


The newspaper is claiming that Banksy is actually Robin Gunningham, a 34-year old prep school graduate- a claim which the artist's publicist denies. They were able to make the identification by using a photograph, supposedly of Banksy toting spray paint in Jamaica, and having a former neighbor of Gunningham identify him as the person in the picture.

If this is true and Gunningham and Banksy are one in the same, you have to wonder what this will mean for the future of his art as Banksy's work relies heavily upon his anonymity. He's known for pulling risky stunts/acts of bravery (depending on your point of view) such spray painting murals on the Palestinian side of Israel's separation wall and planting a cave paining of a prehistoric man pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum in London- sidenote: the painting went unnoticed for several days.





The staff over at Gawker has been doing some research of their own via facebook and have managed to get a look at Gunningham's profile.

What do you think?
Has Banksy been outed?


Photos courtesy of Banksy.

2 comments:

Tay said...

Its funny that an anonymous artist has a publicist. Banksy's stuff has transcended graffiti--so while his no longer being anonymous might affect his future work, it wont take anything away from it.
Let me clarify---The best thing about graffiti--beside's its being illegal vandalism---is that it separate the art from the artist. Its about man's affect on the environment and being famous on a level that Joe Public doesnt know about. Joe Public knows about Banksy---so this isnt that big of a deal. Legally....okay it might be a big damn deal!

Anonymous said...

I think no longer being anonymous might have an affect on the ways people respond to his work. People are already reacting with "disappointment" that Gunningham is a white man who attended a private school. His anonymity allowed people to create their own versions of who Banksy is, one that was a reflection of how they felt about his art. Now some people will be unable to get past his identity when looking at his work.

Also, I think he will probably be sued and fined until he can't afford to pick up a can of spray paint.