Banksy Unmasked for Real

Preface

London Dada’s objective in bringing graffiti artist Banksy’s true appearance and identity to public attention lies in our belief that the art world would be a much healthier and just environment for all artists to operate successfully if the honest and plain-speaking force for good that Banksy can be, abandoned his now tedious verging on cowardly anonymity, screwed-up his courage and stepped out of the shadows to explain in plain terms his wall messages to the main media via interviews and public appearances.
– Michael St.Mark
London, February 2019

Banksy spotted in Spitalfields, August 2014.  Rob Gunningham caught short, photographing what was probably intended to have been another addition to his collection of assorted street graffiti images, ( alongside a bulging scrap book of other artist’s torn cartoon pages it looks like; all for consideration to integrate into future Banksy works ** ).

Comparing Rob’s height with the old trade door and almost certainly the obscuring nearby (getaway) car in the image ( Stanmore plate ) , we estimate Banksy to come in at around the 6ft mark – maybe 6ft 1″ – 6′ 2″ in New Balance trainers.
He’s certainly a tall guy.

Context
August 3rd 2014, Wilkes Street London E1.  An early Sunday morning chance encounter with two men, both noticeably avoiding attention in this deserted street, turning their backs as they were approached by London Dada’s Art Axis.

The tall silver-haired one who had bent forward, away from the approaching Art Axis, to attend a pro camera setup and apparently procuring photos of Dale Marshall-like graffiti and sundry adulterated posters adorning a dilapidated commercial twin door; on a signal from his assistant on the opposite side of the street at the sight of AA’s camera, stood, turned and stepped quickly out, placing one leg in front of the parked blue Peugeot 206 RC, covering the full plate reg number.

On viewing the total of 4 images we captured of this individual and his ducking & diving assistant / minder, it became clear by the identical features and proportions to those of the person reliably claimed to be *Robin Gunningham / Banksy by the Daily Mail in 2008 ( see below ) : that this indeed is Banksy himself.

In addition to the overall features in this picture both proportionally and specifically matching the famous Jamaican image of Gunningham from 2004, featured reversed in the Daily Mail in 2008, short moustache ( concealing a childhood lip surgery scar ) below a distinctive Punch & Judy chin, aquiline nose, high forehead with hairline interrupted by a widow’s peak, all being pretty much dead ringer giveaways.

Analysis

The dyed silver hair & blotchy white make up-powdered stubble smear being an obvious attempt at c. +25yrs age disguise. Who else on the planet would make this big an effort to mask their appearance, including an obvious latex prosthetic sharp end nose piece (see below) when out in public and working around street graffiti?

* If Robin Gunningham, ex public schoolboy from Bristol, for whom there’s pretty indisputable evidence of being a real person is not Banksy, then why is he not listed on any public records, the Electoral Register, nor come forward after seeing his name plastered all over the ‘net to make clear he’s not the man?

DSC03783-007

Click to enlarge The Real Banksy

(c) Art Axis / London Dada 2014

* Available in a signed limited edition of 10 only; we believe the only available late contemporary image of the world-famous street artist in the public domain.

Lightjet fine art prints onto Kodak Pro archival paper
22″ W x 16″ H ( unframed )
£850 ( unframed )

Enquiries; email sales@londondada.com

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“I had Banksy & his minder by the photo /video balls that morning – and, respecting their space, let the poor scared buggers go” – AA

Banksy in Jamaica ( without his prosthetic sharp-end nose piece _

  

 

………………………………………………………………………..                                                  royal

The subject of Banksy’s royal interest & post to his Twitter account.

**
And to think; we all so wanted to believe Banksy is as originally creative and witty as he is a talented draughtsman. **sigh emoji**

#nomoreheroes

+ BANKSY SPY BOOTH direct influence /  copy from a 2008 London Dada work by Lisa Cummins

Update, 5/2/2018
Hull sighting of Banksy confirmed as genuine by London Dada
Downloads14-001

* click to enlarge – the same give-away profile features of very prominent aquiline nose, except again, as in the Jamaican images without the latex prosthetic sharp-end nose piece; darkened ginger ( ginger being his natural hair colour )  – ‘tashed thin-lipped mouth covering a childhood surgery scar and again the prominent and distinctive Punch & Judy chin. Also note the badly matching  2-part false beard disguise Banksy chooses to wear on this occasion in our enlarged screenshot from the recent video taken in Hull, looking more like a chin strap. Careful scrutiny ( double click ) of the enlargement shows the sideburn part of the disguise is pinned to his right earlobe, probably through a pre-existing piercing, whilst the lower part of the disguise is attached via a small pin ( see red pen highlighted loops in the super enlargement below, click to view. ) ( Art Axis spot; 6th February 2018 ).

Confirming beyond doubt these two pictures show the same man, and that man is Robin Gunningham aka Banksy.

UPDATE 2 Balloon Girl shredding stunt at Sotherbys, October 5th 2018

Banksy was said by some to be present in the audience filming the pre-arranged stunt.. and so were other folk, one of whom panned her Smartphone camera across the room, taking in a dozen heads along the way. London Dada’s Art Axis – who close-up’d Banksy in 2014 paused the video ( an online upload ) at the point where he recognized someone uncannily similar to Banksy face-wise with recent front teeth orthodontology; this time with hair cropped short, the obligatory moustache and giveaway prominent dimpled chin and aquiline nose, this time using the latex prosthetic end-nose piece . The gent was decked out in a business suit with white loose-necked shirt and sporting dark tortoiseshell-framed glasses, wih what appears to be a miniature spy camera attached to the right side keeper.
Cameraphone in hand, he’s obviously enjoying the proceedings…however he is filming with his smartphone in portrait mode whereas other video featured on his Instagram account of the auction was shot in the pro standard landscape format, suggesting the gym-fit assistant/minder he always works alongside for cover and security was filming the event for Banksy’s official Instagram account from close by in the auction room.


.


Update 12/12/2018 ( still frame from Banksy’s ” Director’s cut and a Half ” video )
After further close analysis and cross-compares, we can say with 100% certainty that this individual, previously filmed elsewhere in the Sotheby’s auction room, is Banksy himself; inadvertently, irony of ironies, caught in close-up on his own video.


© London Dada 2018

Reproduction terms; press@LondonDada.com

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.Link to the associated archive blog post

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Addendum
Crop of Banksy’s  loose-fitting and overlong jeans with trainers combo deportment style from our 2014 Spitalfields photograph with jeans folding down over the shoes ( below, left )
Compare with the same loose fitting combo style in the  known photo of Banksy by Steve Lazarides, bottom right.

.

( Cropped & appropriated photograph )
* Original photo courtesy Steve Lazarides

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(On both these occasions below, Banksy is wearing his sharp nose-end latex prosthetic )

+

About London Dada

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Banksy in Lockdown ( a slight aside )

This image, put out by Banksy in the midst of the UK coronavirus lockdown in 2020, featuring plays on French graffiti artist Blek le Rat’s time-honoured rat motif and purporting to be based on Banksy’s actual home bathroom; perhaps offers an interesting insight into his socia-domestic situation.
The fixtures, fittings and color scheme are decidedly dated, as if belonging to an unmodernized property from the 1970s or 80s era, which in turn suggests he lives alone, in that if he was married or co-habiting, the lady of the house would typically almost certainly insist on a new suite, especially considering the wealth of her husband or partner
In summary, Robin Gunningham probably lives a predominently sheltered, if not hermit-like existence, most likely in or around the Bristol area as evidenced by his latest street work on Vale St in the Totterdown district, that if he’s conforming to lockdown rules is probably not far from his house.
Incidently, the current mask mandates in force would constitute an absolute boon for Banksy – meaning he now doesn’t need to bother with tiresome faffing around with variations of disguise before sallying forth to the shops or further afield “for work”.
We can therefore expect more frequency of activity from an emboldened RG as lockdown is eased this year, but he must of course guard against hubris.

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Provisional social comment on Rob’s recent “spraycation” assortment of vanilla artworks appearing on sundry east coast seaside resort infrastructure; August 2021.
What springs to mind off the bat is a revamped version of two lyric lines from The Who’s old hit ,The Seeker..

” People tend to hate me ’cause I’m faceless & rip-off Blek le Rat
..but if I ransacked their homes they’d wanna shake my hand “


“Suffolk Police said in a statement: “Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident of criminal damage in Lowestoft.

Interesting isn’t it, that defacing a Banksy spray painting on a wall is now considered a criminal offense?

“It took place at some point between 5:35pm on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August at just after midnight “
Just because Frank Newsome, the Merrivale Village owner endorsed – nay embraced – the model stable plant complete with urban style text vandalism only after he realised it was daubed by Banksy and would thereby be a means to make mega money as a five star tourist attraction or to sell, is in no way justification or carte blanche for the artist to go about his business spraying any object or objects with impunity and effectively litter them in public locations without legal consequences, as there definitely would be for other artists not in the same public fame bracket, simply because the graffiti concerned subsequently appears on Robin Gunningham’s website as an “authentic Banksy”.
It’s as if this Blek le Rat copyist has become above the law in the UK.

btw liking the deliberate comment syntax spaghetti – like most blokes, he comes in many different disguises

15 thoughts on “Banksy Unmasked for Real

  1. You are massively off the mark, You don’t understand what you are seeing you are only seeing what you are being directed to see. Understand the workings of Cateristas the infamous pickpockets of Barcelona and you understand the workings of Banksy. You understand the great art begins in the Recce, the planning and the application and the art continues with the interactions after the event. In this game their are many Banky’s and the same person can be other people and doesn’t stop on completion your completion might not be there completion. I will give you a huge tip Banksy did not vandalise a holiday village model as you think . The Banksy’s built one and staged a genius distraction to smuggle one in Link bellow

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-58215520

    The Lowestoft Rat Banksy was ‘vandalised’ with white emulsion paint and a roller. Think again you are being directed to see what you are seeing, look again .No vandal uses white emulsion and a roller. No outraged local turns up with a tray of emulsion and a roller. They could have just flung a tin of gloss over it or oil. Frankly they wouldn’t think the artwork they despise is worth risking their good roller. Council security guards think they caught a member of a crew of an rival Artist Banksy has a Feud with as the tactics are to send in a crew member with a roller and white emulsion to white over the design before the rival artist puts his design over the top like planting a flag to claim the patch. But even then how do you know the person wasn’t really from Banksy’s crew? And how do you know the rival artists are not really Banksy’s crew in reality all along?

    Then we have the mystery of the women who mysteriously appeared soon after the rollering and the crew member being caught and unbelievably tried to helpfully clean off the whitewash with a scrubbing brush and blue detergent of some sort. I even suspect she was put up to it.

    This is among the very greatest genius level skulduggery as good as anything in Barcelona

    Like

  2. I think the guy about 1 second after the “Banksy” in the auction video is the real Banksy. He’s got the same unkempt hair and designer glasses, plus the video on his phone has the same framing as the video Banksy posted to his Instagram of the event.

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    • His ever-present assistant / lookout procured the Balloon Girl shred Sotherbys video but theres no clear view of him in the room I dont think.
      . We have a good 3/4 close still frame mug shot of Rob though from the assistant’s video there that matches the famous Wilkes Street encounter shots in 2014.
      There’s a chance the man himself might well show his mug before long anyway, in order to to protect his copyright on multiple previous works that he’s losing, drip by drip ( ironic description heh )
      Can’t be easy to watch for such a genuine creative like Rob.

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  4. The rats in the bathroom were most likely painted in a caravan. The walls look like those you would find in a caravan. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t live in a caravan although he seems like a guy who would be into caravans these days. Credit to you for showing his face- the privileged anonymity to protect his precious art money market has worn thin.

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    • Hi Jane, I might tend to agree about the caravan, except the taps are domestic makes used in high-pressure water mains environments so most likely a ripped-out wall from a caravan to serve as the canvas and cut to fit over the dated bathroom units in his own home, unless he lives on bricks in a park home chalet maybe. The single guy living alone theory still carries clout though, I feel – they generally tend towards lax personal hygiene and slobbery, resulting in the dilapidation of their surroundings over time. Isolation has an interesting effect on the male mind don’t you find, Ja.. er, Rob? 😉

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  5. Poor man’s Blek le Rat. Total rip-off artist – and that’s the closest he comes to being an artist.
    I don’t sense any actual feelings from him in the left-wing causes he tries to draw attention to in his stencils – he’s exploiting them.
    Still, a lot better than Damien Hirst – talentless fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

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