After decades of speculation, the elusive street artist known only by his pseudonym Banksy has revealed his name.
When asked if his name is “Robert Banks” in a lost – and recently rediscovered – BBC interview from 20 years ago, the graffiti artist admitted: “It’s Robbie.”
The artist has remained largely anonymous over the years, despite his distinctive street art and high-profile pranks, such as ripping up his infamous “Girl with a Balloon” immediately after it sold at auction for $1.4 million.
The 2003 interview also included Banksy’s initial defense and justification for his iconic work.
“I’m not here to apologize for this,” he said at the time. “It’ll help you get your point across more quickly, won’t it?”
He added: “I want to get it done and dusted.”
But his vandalistic art form did the trick caused trouble for people who were “banked.” — or tagged — described the throngs of ogling fans, the pressure to protect the art and, for some, the inability to sell their homes with the mural.
A couple spent an estimated $247,000 to remove a piece of their work from the side of their home after it became “extremely stressful” to take care of.
And while critics decry Banksy’s coveted defacements, the mysterious graffiti artist encouraged others to: “Get out!” Garbage things! Have fun!” in BBC interview.
“Other people can change it. You can get rid of it,” said Banksy, who also admitted that he would not attend his own show at this point because graffiti artists are not “able” to “stand next to your work.”
For decades, Banksy’s art has spread around the globe, from Ukraine to Britain, but he has never managed to be caught with a spray can in his hand.
His secret, agent-turned-agent Steve Lazarides previously told the Guardian, is to wear high-visibility vests and put up traffic cones because “nobody’s going to stop you if you have them” – in other words, act like they do Place belongs.
Despite a confrontation with a group of New York City sex workers who caught a glimpse of the art and called the police, they got away with the murals without a problem.
In 2019, Banksy’s confidant published a book of identity-hiding images in which the famously anonymous guerrilla artist created his masterpieces.
“I worked with him for 11 glorious years. During that time, we broke every rule in the rulebook and some laws,” Lazarides previously told The Post.