After years of hype, speculation and all manner of scientific research, we might finally have an answer to graffiti artist Banksy’s real identity. And it was all revealed accidentally in a half moment from music legend Goldie.
The jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and acting star recently appeared on Scroobius Pip’s weekly Distraction Pieces podcast and let slip that Banksy is…
Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack.
Getting into a heated discussion about how Banksy makes money from stencilled artwork, Goldie appeared to forget where he was and let slip Banksy’s first name.
“Give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it and we’re sorted. We can sell it now,” said Goldie. “No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
So how do we know the Robert in question is Del Naja from Massive Attack? Well, we do know that Goldie knows the Massive Attack artist quite well from the ‘80s graffiti scene, which is roughly when Banksy started doing his work.
In addition to this, back in 2016 journalist Craig Williams believed he had compelling evidence that Robert Del Naja was indeed the man behind Banksy, claiming to have identified a correlation between cities where Massive Attack performed and where murals by the artist have turned up.
Del Naja denied the rumours in a statement saying: “This is really funny, and I’ve been confused with mates of mine before so maybe understandable. No, it’s not true.”
But he would say that wouldn’t he?
There is also the leading theory – one that a lot of academics believe – that Banksy is a 42-year-old Bristol local under the name of Robin Gunningham. But maybe that’s all been blown out of the water now? This would make for a much more interesting story, at least.
The podcast makes for interesting listening. Especially when you hear Goldie IMMEDIATELY change the subject to jazz music once he realises what he’s done.
Have a listen to the full podcast below. Fast forward to 36.14 for the good bits.