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Is this what Banksy sounds like? Old interview may hold the key

HighLifeChannel July 19, 2023

The identity of the elusive street artist Bansky has always been shrouded in secrecy, but a new BBC podcast may have unveiled a new detail about the art world’s mystery man.

The 10-episode series, “The Bansky Story” , includes a recording of what may be the graffiti artist’s voice from a recovered 2005 interview with US National Public Radio (NPR).

The three-minute clip—which has never before been broadcast in the UK—was transmitted in March that year, just days after Banksy hung his own artwork in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Met, the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum.

The Host of the “All Things Considered” news show on NPR asks the interviewee claiming to be Banksy, “We assume that you are who you say you are, but how can we be sure?”

Speaking with a British accent, the interviewee replies: “Oh, you have no guarantee of that at all—this could be a better prankster than I was.”

In a response that matches the satirical tone of Banksy’s work, the man continues to respond in a tongue-in-cheek manner throughout the interview, claiming to be a “painter and decorator,” and flippantly explaining that his newfound love for gluing his pieces to the walls of art museums is because: “You don’t want to get stuck in the same line of work your whole life long, do you?”

Later in the NPR interview, the host challenges the man on the legality of his stunts.

“You can’t make an omelet (without breaking eggs),” he replies, before adding: “That’s the thing: Mindless vandalism takes a lot more thought than most people would imagine.”

Since the 2005 interview, Banksy has become a household name. In March 2021, his “Game Changer” painting honoring UK healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic sold for $23.1 million at Christie’s in London, a record for the artist.

In November last year, he unveiled murals in the liberated Ukrainian town of Borodianka, which had been destroyed by Russian airstrikes in the early days of the war.

Bansky’s street art is currently featuring in his first official exhibition in 14 years. “Banksy: Cut & Run” at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland, features stencils used in work throughout his career, from the late 1980s to recent pieces made this year.


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