Banksy is Robin Gunningham

The Mail on Sunday newspaper believes they have uncovered the identity of the underground British graffiti artist Banksy. The Mail On Sunday say that Banksy is the 34 year former public schoolboy (private school) Robin Gunningham.

Banksy Identity Uncovered

Banksy uncovered: The nice middle-class boy who ‘became the graffiti guerrilla’
“The notion that Banksy is Robin Gunningham, 34, who was educated at the £9,240-a-year Bristol Cathedral School, will shock the artist’s fans, fond of their hero’s ‘anti-establishment’ stance.” Mail on Sunday

Banksy’s publicist would neither confirm nor deny if Banksy was Robin Gunningham, so the mystery continues. It was thought that Banksy’s real name might be Robin Banks of Bristol, with parents that believed he was a painter and decorator. The BBC published this photo of Banksy in November.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I am disgusted! So, you have been on Banksys’trail for a year and, hey ho, you have discovered who he is. Quite frankly, I don’t care, I didn’t want or need to know. In all probability Banksys’ anonymity was a very successful marketing ploy, but good luck to him, I say.
    I shan’t be reading yours or any other newspaper again.
    Anonymous Artist

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent, well done Daily Mail!

  3. there still seems to be a lot of doubt about whether or not this Robin Gunningham really is Banksy .I’m amazed in this day and age that someone can hide his identity for so long. Maybe he doesn’t really exist – like a Scarlet Pimpernel of the art world. Banksy could be a number of artists who work together to perpetuate the” myth of Banksy”

  4. I’m not sure what there is to be disgusted about Anon.

    It’s probably not such a bad idea to quit reading newspapers though, especially the celebrity gossip publications.

    The hidden identity thing really does work for Banksy.. I wonder if he’ll receive as much media attention if his mask really has been lifted. “Robin Gunningham” just hasnt got the same ring to it as “Banksy”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “bansky” being a group of artist and not one person might explain why most of his/her/their pieces are stencils and not drawings. to hide any individual styles.
    was there not a rumor long ago that banky piece were appearing in shoerditch while at the same time appearing in the middle east or somthing?

  6. Anon is quite right to be disgusted with the Daily Mail. I read a copy once and got ink all over my hands and it’s articles in support of Hitler were not much fun either. Why bother with newspapers when you can get all the readin you might ever nead right here at Art News blog? I should also point out that the Mail has got it wrong. I am Sparticu… I mean Banksy! We are all Banksy… pick up your spray can and free your creativity from the shackles of the bourgoisy art establishment! (Can anyone tell me if there are any arts council grants going for that sort of thing?).

  7. Anonymous says:

    you can always rely on the media to spoil anything good in this country. a**holes

  8. Anonymous says:

    Who cares who he is his work is good and shouldnt be coved up unlike the mess kids make because they are bored. Shouldnt the goverment be doing some thing about kid walking the streets of are homeless not about an artist who dont want people knowing who he is.

  9. Anonymous says:

    go go gadget go, there is a time and a place for an identity. and here and now to have one is either a marketing ploy or a disastrous inheritance. banksy took what i always have loved about anonymity and
    basically kept it real. real and simple. yowza go gadget go.

  10. I didn’t believe this tosh for a moment. Somebody is pulling The Mail’s leg.

    I received this link in my inbox this morning, well worth reading:

    Plus I received an authorative comment on my post on this subject from a very secretive Rev:
    “I know – it’s not him.”

    Plus I posted a snapshot of Banksy on my blog last year – a mixed-race young man, mid to late 30s, with sideburns. Looks nothing like Robin.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have discovered the true identity of The Mail On Sunday. It is a faction of the so-called “Daily Mail”. It’s a very, very successful marketing ploy, and I’m truly disgusted by the whole thing. God luck to them I say, and I’m canceling my subscription to something.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @ Artsblog: Don’t be silly, just because we know his name is Robin Gunningham doesn’t mean he can’t continue being called Banksy. Nobody calls Superman Clark Kent.

  13. i think that everyone has gotten into such a frenzy abouut his identity instead of just realising this is a person who wants to do brillant works of art wihtou tall the fame and lack of privacy. we should just let him do his own thing…its een working for him sofar…lets not dastroy his art.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To anybody who doubts Rob really is Banksy, I was at school with him and have been involved in the bristol art scene. I can confirm 100% that they are the same person. The last time I saw Rob Gunningham was at an art show at the tea factory in Bristol about 6 or 7 years ago, he was there with Nick Walker. He also helped organise a graffiti exibition with Bristol City council about 10 years ago when the @Bristol developement was being built.
    Banksy’s “secret idenity” has always been one of the worst kept secrets in bristol.

  15. May I have your attention please?
    May I have your attention please?
    Will the real Banksy please stand up?
    I repeat, will the real Banksy please stand up?
    We’re gonna have a problem here..

    ‘Cause I’m Banksy, yes I’m the real Banksy
    All you other Banksies are just imitating
    So won’t the real Banksy please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up?

  16. Anon.. I think he would be flattered by your Clark Kent – Superman

    We do need an art world superhero. I don’t see the Hirsts and Koons of the world out saving damsels in distress.

    It’s a pity the Daily Planet has now revealed the secret identity of our art super hero to the Lex Luthers of the world. Metropolis will never be the same again.

  17. Was there ever any doubt that he wasn’t a middle class rebel to start with? and not the urban revolutionary everyone hoped he was?….

    Come on, street kids don’t have problems with wars…

  18. Oh and for a 34 year old he looks like he’s had a hard life..

    Maybe he can stop getting up in the dead of night now….

  19. Personally I think that Banksy is a group of artists with financial backing and powerful friends. I’ve thought that for along time. Everyone wants to collect or be associated with the work of an ‘artstar’… what better way to do that than to create one.

    Banksy as a vagabond artist who is against material gain just does not add up. From what I read he does not accept any financial gain from his art and some sources claim that he is from a poor background. Yet he is able to travel all over the world to create his work? He seems to be able to slide past security as well. I’d say there are some big bucks involved.

    The public enjoys a good mystery. That is probably why Banksy has had so much press. So even if this guy is Banksy, or is one of the artists behind Banksy, someone else will take his place.

    How do they prove that something was done by Banksy? I’m actually surprised that people have not tried to claim that Banksy work is their work or something along those lines. I’m sure they have.

    Eventually it will probably come out that this is all one huge art project dealing with public perception and all that jazz.

    Brian Sherwin
    Myartspace Blog

  20. Anonymous says:

    The monetary comments about his education are so stupid:
    It’s about time people realize that only quality education and overall wealth gives you social power and thus social reponsibility towards the less fortunate.
    Obviously, someone who would have grown up in poorer social environment would have been way more absorbed by his need for money and would have pushed his social reflexion quite less further, thus reducing the opportunities or time spend thinking about how to artistically criticize social order.
    Some exceptions to this exists, but they usually excell not in social reflexion, but in money-making abilities.

  21. dfimagery says:

    I grew up with a working single mother and sister, in a lower middle class neighborhood. never considered myself poor , but never had any cash either. McDonalds was a treat. But then I avoided all these issues by avoiding art school altogether, my salvation. My mother had gone to the Philadelphia College of Art in wartime, got more than enough exposure to the “art world” through that, thank you very much.

  22. Anonymous says:

    being a graff artist is like being a super hero.. your secret identity is ALL u have and u MUST keep it secret.. but look at you.. u RUINED it for banksy.. u blew up his secret identity IF it really is him.. you shouldnt even try to find out who he REALLY is and IF u do find out.. dont share it with the world… what do u think would happen if every one knew spidermans secret identity? people know the hulks identity for the most part and the army is always trying to kill him! is that what u want to happen to banksy?!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Guess again.

  24. Banksy, or the “Collective Banksy” is no fool, he and they know what they are doing.

  25. why does it matter?
    if banksy wanted to be known he would let the world know.
    it’s all part of the mystery and fun you fools.
    leave him be :)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Banksy is no one person but a group
    of very talented artist’s who take it in turn to graf so they can alibi
    for one another.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have a Banksy on the wall but its
    me that does not know who I am


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