Too many Banksies.
We’ve all been there: You’ve just reissued a classic trip-hop album, your score for that Darren Aronofsky’s multimedia project is doing well, and then BAM! — you’re Banksy. You’re Banksy and all your friends are Banksy and it doesn’t matter how great ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ still sounds — because you’re still Banksy.
In an article titled “Is THIS the real face of Bansky?”, The Daily Mail highlights an investigative piece by journalist Craig Williams who believes Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja is Banksy. They think he’s been engaging in all sorts of Banksy shenanigans for years and that he’s not alone.
Their theory is that Banksy is actually a moniker for a collective of artists, with Del Naja as the ringleader. They explain this primarily with a graph that ties Massive Attack’s tour dates to Banksy pieces that appeared in the same cities at similar times.
Del Naja, who spent years as a graffiti artist before making music, has publicly stated multiple times (including the documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop) that he’s an old, close friend of Banksy. Banksy also acknowledged Del Naja as a close friend and an influence on his own work once in a Shepard Fairey’s Swindle magazine. It’s certainly plausible the elusive artist hitched a ride on his good friend’s tour, more so at least than Del Naja keeping this alter-ego under wraps while remaining a world renowned public figure like some kind of modern art Batman.
Still, Williams has an interesting gambit. Massive Attack is set to play a homecoming show in Bristol this weekend. He posits that if a Banksy piece shows up then the evidence will be undeniable.
It’s a fun read, and worth looking at, but it definitely occupies that foggy no man’s land between plausibility and bullshit that tabloids call home — or maybe this is misdirection because we’re also Banksy [Ed. Note: Shh!].
Stay tuned until Saturday and listen to Banksy’s new single below.