BANKSY is one of the most well known graffiti artists in history, and his identity has been one of the most well kept secrets of all time. of course there have been plenty of rumors as to who or what “BANKSY” is: an underground network of graffiti artists that are all unheard of, but use the pseudonym to be known, MR. BRAINWASH’s alter ego, the queen of england, a woman, a man named ROBERT BANKS… the list goes on. finally in 2007, a group of reporters from daily mail began a year long mission to uncover BANKSY’s true identity, here is what they found:
in 2004 a photo was taken in jamaica of a man in a blue shirt, jeans and a spray can by his feet. it was rumored to be BANKSY at work, but BANKSY denied the picture was of him.
in 2007, reporters from daily mail traveled to bristol, where BANKSY is rumored to have grown up. a man in bristol identified the individual in the photo as ROBIN GUNNINGHAM.
ROBIN was born on july 28, 1973 at bristol maternity hospital to peter gordon gunningham and pamela ann dawkin-jones. he has one older sister named sarah.
when he was 9, ROBIN and his family moved to a home in bristol, where they had a neighbor named anthony hallett. the reporters were able to locate anthony and he confirmed that the man in the photograph was, in fact, ROBIN GUNNINGHAM. he also told the reporters that “the family was always very nice. i don’t know for sure but I think ROBIN was working as a graffiti artist. he worked for other people and would disappear for months on end. he was quite nomadic.”
when ROBIN turned 11 he attended the bristol cathedral school. his former classmates told the reporters that they remember ROBIN as being a particularly gifted artist. scott nurse, an insurance broker who was in ROBIN’’s class, said: “he was one of three people in my year who were extremely talented at art. he did lots of illustrations. i am not at all surprised if he is BANKSY.”
the plot deepens as it appears the life story of ROBIN and the well known facts about BANKSY seem to coincide. for example, in 1998 ROBIN was living in easton, bristol with a man named luke egan, who later went on to exhibit with BANKSY in an art store that launched in 2001. when first approached, luke denied knowing ROBIN or BANKSY, but later he said “i lived with a guy, with ROBIN GUNNINGHAM. but … “ and went on to explain that he wasn’t BANKSY, at least, “he wasn’t then.”
luke and ROBIN left the house when the owner wanted to sell it. the daily mail team caught up with camilla stacey, who bought the property in 2000. she said “BANKSY and ROBIN GUNNINGHAM are one and the same person.” she also said that she knew the house had been inhabited by BANKSY because of the artwork left there, and that she used to get post for him in the name of ROBIN GUNNINGHAM.
later, in 2003, BANKSY put on a show called turf war in a warehouse that was just yards away from the flat that ROBIN was residing in at the same time.
while BANKSY lived a high profile life, appearing in documentaries, movies and completing artwork for famous fans like gwen stefani, ROBIN seemed to disappear apart from numerous official records that always seem to appear in the same place and at the same time as BANKSY.
finally the reporters found ROBIN’s parents, but the results were quite shocking. ROBIN’s mother denied having a son at all, only a daughter named sarah. ROBIN’s father said that he did not recognize the man in the photograph and went on to argue (in a manner that seemed almost playful) that his son was not BANKSY.
BANKSY is known to come up with complex plans to deceive and trick the public, so it is possible that his connection to ROBIN is nothing more than an intricate ruse, but if it is it must be the most elaborate such ruse ever concocted. so, what do you think, is ROBIN GUNNINGHAM actually BANKSY?