Print Edition - 2017-06-25  |  Life & Style

Slip of tougue fuels speculation on banksy identity

- Agence France-Presse, London
An interview with a DJ Goldie has set tongues wagging that the annonymous artist is Robert Del Naja of the band Massive Attack

Jun 25, 2017-An unguarded moment in an interview has renewed speculation over one of contemporary art’s great mysteries—could elusive graffiti activist Banksy be Robert Del Naja of band Massive Attack?

Goldie, a well-known DJ who was a friend and competitor of Del Naja as the two sprayed Bristol in southwest England with graffiti in the 1980s, made an apparent slip of the tongue in an interview this week.

Goldie was speaking with dismay at the high prices that can be fetched for works by Banksy, whose signature style is politically provocative graffiti that appears suddenly on walls around the world.

“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,” Goldie told the Distraction Pieces podcast.

“No disrespect to Rob. I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over,” he said, before pausing and switching the conversation to music.

Del Naja has often been speculated to be Banksy, who as an artist makes only shadowy appearances with his face and voice concealed.

Banksy has cited Del Naja as an influence and writer Craig Williams in an article last year noted that several Banksy pieces emerged in locations shortly after Massive Attack concerts.

In 2008, however, The Mail on Sunday concluded after interviewing friends that Banksy was Robin Gunningham, another artist from Bristol.

Banksy often produces art in charged political settings. In 2015, the artist painted a mural in the Calais “jungle” of migrants seeking to leave France for Britain.

The work, “The Son of a Migrant from Syria,” depicts Apple co-founder Steve Jobs—who was of Syrian descent—clutching a bag of belongings and an Apple computer.

Published: 25-06-2017 08:51

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