Who Is Banksy?
Banksy - street artist, political activist, theme park creator and Britain's most elusive cultural enigma of the 21st century - has kept us guessing for 25 years as to their identity. Who is Banksy? Investigative journalist Craig Williams believes, however, that he has solved the mystery of the street artist's identity with a trail that leads right to Robert "3D" Del Naja, founding member of Bristol band Massive Attack - and he hasn't exactly denied it.
Williams has uncovered a uncanny link between the appearance of works attributed to Banksy in locations across the world with the timing of Massive Attack tour dates. In locations that include San Francisco, Boston and Toronto, Banksy works have appeared a matter of days before or after in the vicinity of a Massive Attack tour date. In other incidences, Banksy exhibitions have coincided with Massive Attack multiple-night stints in the corresponding city.
At a Massive Attack gig in Bristol last night, 3D commented on the rumours to the crowd, saying "Rumours of me being Banksy greatly exaggerated, we are all Banksy!" Inconclusive? We think so.
It would be quite easy to dismiss the claims as a series of coincidences, if it weren't for some compelling character evidence. For example, 3D's artistic credentials hold up pretty well, as Del Naja spent time as a member of graffiti collective The Wild Bunch prior to the formation of Massive Attack. The singer's political voice also bares compelling similarities to Banksy's. For example, although no movements for the band have coincided directly with the appearance of the nine artworks to have appeared on the Palestinian Wall, Massive Attack have been known to openly support and work with the HOPING Foundation (Hope and Optimism for Palestinians in the Next Generation), and have boycotted tour dates in Israel.
Del Naja's surprising footballing patronage could also give the musician away. A lifelong Napoli fan, 3D detailed in 2010 his attendance at a match that took place in Naples on 26 September 2004 - shortly after the Banksy mural "Madonna Con La Pistola" appeared on the side of a church in the city.