British street artist Bansky is always causing a stir. On Sunday he set up a stall fronted by an innocuous yawning granddad in Central Park selling what appeared to be Banksy knock-offs for $60 (£37) apiece, which were actually originals worth up to £20,000 each. Other than celebrating his iconic art which can be found all over London, the other thing the internet loves to do is constantly guess at who exactly Banksy might be. There are endless rumours and countless forums dedicated to the cause – in 2011, his identity was even up for auction on eBay with bids reaching $1 million before it was removed from the site. We’re putting every nosy curtain-twitcher to shame.
Since Banksy’s identity was exclusively revealed last Monday in New York (it wasn’t), we’ve put together some of our favourite speculations from over the years:
1. Cap man in New York
Banksy has recently been stencilling on the streets of New York and last week, a few people got in a tizz thinking they had caught the elusive Brit on camera after a technical difficulty occurred with his live installation. Long story short, after the images – taken by a keen Banksy fan – appeared online, no one seemed that fussed and/or convinced.
2. Robin Gunningham
We know him as Banksy, but his mum prefers to call him Robin. Robin Gunningham/Robin Banks, once a public school boy, ascended straight out of Bristolian middle class suburbia with a spray can and onto the mean streets to show off his drawing abilities. Well, so said a certain really reliable newspaper in 2008. Ahem. Banksy responded on his website with a note saying ‘I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me.’
3. Mr Brainwash
After the 2010 release of the documentary ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ sparked endless speculation about the comical street artist Thierry Guetta, or Mr Brainwash, who appeared in the film. Some said that Mr B was a hoax created by Banksy, that he was a front for Banksy, that he is Banksy… Everyone seems to have a theory on this one. Either way, he’s entertaining to watch.
4. Paul Horner
Earlier this year, a fake press release stating that Banksy had been arrested by British Police and that his real name is Paul William Horner, was picked up by several news outlets who reported the news as fact. Media troll extraordinaire Paul Horner is actually the editor of Super Official News and a writer for National Report. His mate Kyle Brock came up with the idea and together the pair duped the press then went home and had a right chuckle about it.
5. Boris Johnson