Yesterday’s terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris has led to an outpouring of tributes from visual artists worldwide. One artist who has not (yet) responded is Banksy, but that hasn’t stopped sites like Mashable and the Huffington Post from reporting that Banksy’s response might be the illustration above, since the image was posted to the @banksy Instagram account.
Here’s the problem though: That’s not Banksy’s account, or Banksy’s illustration. Jo Brooks, Banksy’s pr person, has confirmed to Vandalog that the only official Banksy Instagram account is @banksy.co.uk, and that the illustration posted by the @banksy account is not by Banksy.
The illustration that the media is calling Banksy’s is actually by Lucille Clerc. She tweeted a (much less filtered and low-resolution) version of the illustration shortly before it was reposted by the fake @banksy account. Also, the post by @banksy now credits Clerc as the artist behind the powerful illustration, although the credit might not have been there when the post first went up.
For future reference, the rule of thumb is that a Banksy is a Banksy if it’s been posted on his official website.
Photo from @banksy, an illustration by Lucille Clerc