Banksy confirms name for first time in BBC interview
The Banksy Story, BBC Sounds
Famed anonymous artist Banksy may not be so anonymous after all, with a resurfaced 2003 interview making waves that appears to show him revealing his name for the first time.
The Bristol-born artist has been subject to scepticism around his identity during his career, with street art randomly popping up across the world for years. 'Girl with Balloon' (2002), 'Flower Thrower' (2007) and 'Kissing Cops' (2022) are among three of his most popular murals.
Now, the BBC has released a full interview 20 years later in The Banksy Story, available on BBC Sounds. During the discussion, he seemingly shares his real name.
"Are you happy for me to use your name? I mean, The Independent has," arts correspondent Nigel Wrench asked Bansky, who replied: "Yeah."
"Is it Robert Banks?" they continued, to which the artist responded: "It’s Robbie."
"Robbie. OK. Robbie," Wrench reiterated.
Banksy Valentine's Day artwork on a rented property in Bristol (2020)Getty Images
Speaking about his expansive career and his role in the industry, Banksy told Wrench: "I’m not really into the art world, the ‘Brit art’ thing. I don’t know... it’s not something that interests me, really. I’m more into art that’s voted for by people with their feet than I am into one millionaire judging you and telling people whether you’re ‘art’ or not."
Since the clip resurfaced across social media, many have turned their attention to how the artist makes a living – given that his identity has always been concealed.
Similar to most street artists, Banksy is said to make no money from most of his pieces.
Art dealers, however, have seized the opportunity for financial gain. For instance, 'Devolved Parliament' sold for a staggering $12,142,893, prompting Banksy to comment: "Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it."
Devolved Parliament by BanksyGetty Images
According to the report by ArtLife, the artist makes a living from his other projects, such as his book Wall and Piece and his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.