Banksy’s identity is…

November 11th, 2010 | By | 4 Comments »

UPDATE: As pretty much everyone expected, this was a PR stunt and the short film is actually just an animation. Screw you Encounters International Film Festival! Don’t such dicks next time.

About to be revealed. Maybe. Or maybe not. Or maybe it was revealed a while ago and we’ve wisely chosen to believe he is still anonymous because it’s better that way.

Canimation, a series of short films that combine graffiti and animation and part of Encounters International Film Festival, claims to have CCTV footage of Banksy that conclusively shows his identity. The CCTV footage was apparently captured when Banksy painted something on a building where Aardman, an animation studio, is located.

From UK Street Art:

Animation Programme manager, Keiran Argo, programmed the Canimation strand of the festival to act as a celebration for Bristol’s involvement in both animation and street art development.

Kieran said: “The programme would have been incomplete without a local contribution so the hunt was on for something special. What Banksy didn’t bargain for when recently stencilling the back wall of Aardman’s new building was the discrete CCTV system they had installed allowing us, for the first time, to put a face to the name. All will be revealed in the programme…’

Anyone else think this is probably just a PR stunt and that perhaps this supposed CCTV video is actually an animation or something? I really hope it is, because I don’t want Banksy’s identity to be proven conclusively. Eine and Shepard Fairey have both mentioned that Banksy doesn’t paint a lot of his own street work, so why would he have painted this particular piece that got captured on CCTV? If the footage is real, it could easily be one of his assistants.

The film screens in Bristol at Encounters International Film Festival on November 20th at 9pm.

Here are some of Banksy’s self portraits from over the years:

Photo by JasonBlait

Banksy for Wired

Banksy for Time Out

Photos by/courtesy of Time Out, Wired and JasonBlait

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  • Mischa Canibal

    Nice info!

    Please could you tell me when and where did S. Fairey and Eine say that Banksy doesn,t paint most of his street work himself!?


  • RJ

    Shepard Fairey says it on page 2 of this article –

    And Eine says it in the most recent issue of Very Nearly Almost. Eine used to work for Banksy. He says “I used to help him paint stuff on the street. At some point, yes, I would’ve painted a rat. But it wasn’t like I was going out with his stencils and doing his rats!” So with Eine, Banksy presumably would’ve been there most of the time, but Shepard seems to say that now Banksy doesn’t have to be there at all. Which makes sense given how many cities his work appeared in over the last year.

  • Mischa Canibal

    Muchas gracias!

  • Chimp

    oh boy, next you’ll be telling me he makes all the oil paintings he exhibits, and is a technical robot-building genius who can make animatronic animals and swimming fish fingers.

    very few highly successful artists make their own work. Damian Hirst has a factory of people churning out spot paintings for example.

    people know this, but they don’t care. just like we know Banksy’s identity, but choose to pretend we don’t as we like the mystery more – it makes his work all the more exciting to pretend he’s a ghost or a superhero or someone somehow better than ourselves. reality ruins illusions, and we like illusions as reality can be a bitch!

    this is most probably a stunt in collaboration with Aardman to promote sales of his movie, just in time for Christmas. Aardman are hugely popular in the UK, so this will no doubt be one of those Christmas tv specials everybody tunes in to. I can see the film now – Aardman staff member introduces what we’re about to see, clip of grainy footage of a hooded figure lurking around, cut back to interview with security guard on duty that night (possibly with Banksy playing the role of the guard, just to have a laugh at our expense) then we see the security footage, zoom in as the figure turns to face camera, BOOOOM!!! it’s a plasticine monkey. Audience acts surprised, laughs at the genius of the joke, and rush out to buy DVDs of Wallace and Gromit and Exit Through The Gift Shop.

    GOD DAMN IT!!! I wish people became well known for making good art WITHOUT all the pr bullshit that is involved. It’s made me so damn cynical of everything. These days every thing I see on a blog makes me think that person is trying to sell me something.

    Wallace and Gromit movies are great, all of Aardmans films are great. But now I feel like they’re becoming part of The Great Street Art Swindle…