Monday, July 28, 2008

Lightweight Banksy Lost His Anonymity (A Legend Broken)

For years the graffiti artist known as Banksy has been the art world's Deep Throat: a hugely influential figure whose identity remained shrouded in mystery. Now, like Deep Throat, he has been given a name.

Banksy is a 34-year-old native of Bristol, England, named Robin Gunningham, Britain's the Mail on Sunday reported on July 13. The thread that may have unraveled the mystery was a 2004 photograph taken in Jamaica, which many — including photographer Peter Dean Rickards — say is the only known picture of Banksy. (The artist's agent, Steve Lazarides, denied that the photo — which depicts a man in jeans and sneakers crouching above a can of spray paint — is of Banksy. A spokeswoman for the artist declined to confirm or deny the Mail's report.)