Pioneering musician, artist and actor Goldie is guilty of a serious slip of the tongue.  His gaff occurred on Tuesday during a podcast interview with Scroobius Pip, on his Distraction PiecesGoldie expressed his frustration with the art collectors for buying and selling Banksy’s work for huge sums whilst graffit as an art form remains much maligned.

He said “…as it’s the centre of wild style it is still misunderstood…but give me a bubble letter and put on it a t-shirt and write Banksy on it and we’re all sorted, we’re good…we can sell that, we can make it something else.  No disrespect to Robert I think he’s a brilliant artist.  I think he’s flipped the world of art over.  I think that the irony in that…. (Silence as he realises his gaff).  Um, if jazz…”

By naming Banksy as ‘Robert’ Goldie fuels the long standing speculation that his real identity is Robert Del Naja of Massive AttackGoldie and Del Naja are friends. Prior to joining Massive Attack Robert Del Naja was a graffiti artist known as 3D and was active in Bristol in the 1980s as part of a collective known as The Wild Bunch.  He is widely credited with pioneering stencilled graffiti.  Coincidentally Banksy also revealed that he came up with the idea of stencilling in order to paint at a greater speed so that he could more easily evade the police.

There has been speculation based on so called ‘research’ that Banksy’s work tends to pop up in cities when Massive Attack are on tour there.  Although major works by Banksy have appeared totally independently of a simultaneous Massive Attack presence, such as those on the Israeli ‘Security Barrier’ and inside the Gaza Strip.

There has been further speculation that Robert Del Naja may head up a collective of artists who are together known as Banksy.  A number of artists did participate in the live installation Dismaland ‘Bemusement Park’ in Weston-Super-Mare in 2015, but the show was clearly Banksy’s design and brain child.

It would clearly be exciting to find that Banksy has been hiding in plain sight and is an artistic polymath.  But this would literally cramp Banksy’s style and probably end his career.  His art depends upon its subversive nature and the brilliant, insightful social and political commentary he expresses through it.  He doesn’t want to be interviewed or to spend time explaining art that he views as disposable and transient.  It still has to be produced in the hours of darkness away from the police.  Graffiti after all is illegal, even if it is by Banksy.

 Feature by Shirley Ann  on Banksy 23rd June 2017