Who is Banksy?

Street artist, oil painter, sculpturer, organiser of art shows, prankster, brilliant writer, and even filmmaker. Our interpretation of Banksy depends on the narrative we create in our minds. Maybe the beauty of it all rests in the whole picture: Banksy as a piece of conceptual art in himself.

Some old philosopher said: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. I would guess that nobody will come up with an extraordinary piece of evidence in the “Who is Banksy?” puzzle. And in such a case, who would confirm? How would we know that it’s not just another piece of misdirection? And, after all, do we really want to know?

We can only speculate what the anonymous aspect of Banksy stands for. In the early days, being anonymous was a way to escape prosecution. Nowadays, the risk of prosecution is not an issue. Is it a statement against the celebrity cult? Maybe it is as simple as a personal desire to maintain a private life. Or, could it be part of the overall expression where being anonymous enables Banksy’s more mischievous sides: The conjuring (how did he do it?), the pranks and the showmanship?