How many times can a man’s true identity be discovered?
Is this the title of an essay by Sartre? No, it is merely the general public wondering how many times we can discover the ‘real Banksy’.
Earlier this year scientists at Queen Mary’s claimed to have entrapped the anonymous street artist using university geo-profiling techniques; naming him as Bristol resident Robin Gunningham.
Now, he’s been found again. This time, he’s the front man for Bristol’s most successful band: Massive Attack; co-founded by Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja with ‘Daddy G’ Marshall in 1990. The band has sold over 11 million albums.
Journalist Craig Williams believes he has evidence that Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja is indeed the front man of Massive Attack; but that he is also the anonymous street artist Banksy.
The link? 3D used to be a street artist, and his graffiti was all over Bristol at one point; with Banksy being a great admirer and lamenting his transition to music, “When I was about ten years old, a kid called 3D was painting the street hard. 3D quit painting and formed the band Massive Attack, which may have been a good thing for him but was a big loss for the city.”
3D has said: “Musicians that also paint are never taken seriously, painters that make music even less so.”
3D has professed on many occasions to be friendly with Banksy; and Williams claims, Banksy murals have a tendency to pop up in cities where Massive Attack tours and stages concerts; usually, in relatively short succession to the gigs taking place.
Williams uses these examples: Massive Attack appeared in San Francisco in late April 2010; a half-dozen Banksy murals appeared May 1. A few days later, the band held a gig in Toronto, where Banksy murals also appeared shortly thereafter. The band performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2006; and Banksy’s Barely Legal exhibition took place a week later.
Has this settled the dispute? Or, who will Banksy be next? Will it be you?