It seems we can’t go a week without discovering a new work by the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy. And yet, in the decade or so since he first rose to prominence in England, we still don’t have a face or identity to match with the vivid, politically charged stencils that decorate cities around the globe. Here at Flavorpill, we’re getting pretty sick of the anonymity — not to mention the exorbitant eBay auctions by pranksters hoping to cash in on the artist. That’s why we sent our tireless staff of crack reporters to do some top-secret research on the many alleged “Banksy unmasked” photos that have popped up over the years. Based on what they’ve discovered, we’ve created an artist bio for each potential Banksy. Read their findings after the jump and let us know who you think is most likely to be the real Banksy.
Photos: Robin Gunningham, via
Banksy, born Robin Gunningham, came to the world of street art after defeating the evil Lord Voldemort and winning the hearts of fellow schoolchildren around the globe. In his adult life, the accomplished wizard has used his magical powers to conceal his identity from the prying eyes of paparazzi.
Photo: Robert Banks, via
Banksy, better known to his family as Robert Banks, turned to street art to cope with a trouble youth. He has spent the past 20 years in and out of mental institutions and drug treatment programs, from which he has often escaped, using tactics learned on the streets. He is currently writing a memoir and hopes that Nick Nolte will portray him in the inevitable big-screen adaptation.
Photo: Robert Banks?, via
Banksy is a street artist who works, by day, as the “cool teacher” at your child’s middle school. Do not be alarmed if your son or daughter presents with the following symptoms: radical political rhetoric, extreme paranoia and secrecy, or sudden urges to “decorate” the walls of your home. This is likely a temporary condition — and if it isn’t, you may just end up with a rich and famous child.
Photo: Nick Walker, via
Banksy, whose real name is Nick Walker, is a street artist who struggles with dissociative identity disorder. To his great consternation, Walker has produced most of his best work while living as his “Banksy” alter — a well-read art-school dropout known for following up his own cryptic statements with a significant furrowing of the eyebrows and the words, “Or is it?”
Photo: Banksy? via
The outsider artist Banksy first came to prominence in the late ’90s, while touring with Limp Bizkit. The band’s frontman, Fred Durst, was initially amused at his roadie’s quick and funny bathroom-wall doodles but disavowed all involvement with Banksy after the artist’s transition to more political work confused him. “He made the best boner sketches I’ve ever seen,” said Durst. “To this day, I can’t understand why he threw it all away.”
Photo: Banksy, in a still from Exit Through the Gift Shop
Street artist and documentary filmmaker Banksy grew up near Stonehenge, in the English county of Wiltshire, where he was raised by one of Britain’s last practitioners of the traditional druid faith. Although he has occasionally been tied in the press to the dreaded Grim Reaper, Banksy holds that the two are actually mortal enemies. “Everyone thinks Reaper is the real deal, that he started this hood-with-no-face thing,” the artist complains. “Read your history, dolts. My shit goes back to the Iron Age.”
Photo: eBanksy, via Moviefone
Banksy would like to correct a myth that has hurt him deeply: he is not hiding his identity for fear of fame, arrest, or “selling out.” He would love to meet every one of his fans personally, but is unable to do so because he is gravely ill. The artist can only leave his sensory deprivation chamber for long enough to don a hazmat suit and create his world-famous stencils. You know that movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble? Yeah, it was about a young Banksy.