Banksy’s Face Might Have Appeared In Early Interview Before His Career Took Off
By Mikelle Leow, 05 Jul 2019
Image via Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com
Banksy’s identity has been one of art’s greatest mysteries of recent decades. The nearest brush people had with the elusive street artist of late was during Venice Biennale this year, when he set up a booth at the major art event. However, he still went under the radar as no one could have known that the man at the stall was Banksy.
As the scale of his stunts heighten, it’s unlikely that Banksy will show his face anytime soon. Perhaps the only way to unmask the mysterious artist is to retrace his footsteps, as a news reporter accidentally discovered while looking at archives.
Robert Murphy, reporter of Bristol-based ITV News, chanced upon an early interview the media company had with a man claiming to be Banksy when looking through its news vault.
The footage, shown below, was recorded before Banksy began gaining popularity at his 2003 Turf War exhibition in London. It shows a young man whose forehead, eyes and eyebrows are visible. However, his face remains mostly concealed by a t-shirt, wrapped from the nose-down, and a baseball cap.
The man identifying as Banksy spoke for about 35 seconds with since-retired correspondent Haig Gordon, describing that he had to be disguised because people working with graffiti were not to go public. “The two things don’t quite go together,” he added.
When asked why he had “Designated Riot Area” sprayed on Nelson’s Column, he commented that he thought the move was “quite funny.”
Gordon also asked the man if he didn’t mind having his details handed over to the police, to which the elusive figure replied, “No. What details have you got?”
As reported by ITV News, Gordon remembered the man as “relaxed… laid-back… [and] amiable.” He had feared that the street artist would be the “pretentious arty-farty type,” but was relieved to find quite a pleasant character in his interviewee.
Gordon added that he did catch sight of the man’s full face, but could not remember what it looked like as the interview was filmed 16 years ago.
While it remains to be known if the person shown on television was truly Banksy, Murphy noted that the footage showed him working on a piece at an official Banksy exhibition.
Have we uncovered footage of elusive street artist #Banksy?!— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) July 4, 2019
We delved into ITV's archive and were completely amazed at the interview we found...
Read more: https://t.co/TBmPAw47ah pic.twitter.com/AYwTwXt1xV
Banksy— Gin & Tonic (@mllcktt) July 4, 2019
Archive TV interview may reveal identity of Banksy
Footage shows partly covered face of man who claims to be artist and seems to be working on two of his pieces....."The National Guardian" pic.twitter.com/VYV0SEhLhw
[via The Guardian, video via ITV News WestCountry, images via various sources]
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