For years, people have been speculating about Banksy’s true identity. Some researchers link the British street artist to Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja. Now, that theory was taken to a whole new level, all thanks to Goldie, who let out the name “Robert” while talking about the artist in an interview.
During an interview on an episode of the Distraction Pieces Podcast that aired June 20. The British DJ Goldie started to talk about the commercialization of graffiti. And ended up giving – by accident – a huge hint about the identity of one of the most important characters in contemporary art.
“Give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write Banksy on it and we’re sorted. We can sell it now,” he said, adding, “No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.” It took Goldie a few seconds of silence for quickly changed the subject to jazz music, and there was no follow-up.
Fans and media jumped to think Goldie is speaking about Robert Del Naja, founding member of Massive Attack. Del Naja – also known as 3D – and Goldie have been lifelong friends. And in the 80s they lived in Bristol and were both graffiti artists in the same circles.
Del Naja had previously been linked to the artist
The reason why fans and media immediately thought about Del Naja after the slip of the tongue. Is because last year, someone had already suggested that the musician is also the infamous street artist.
In 2016, journalist, Craig Williams, built up and incredibly compelling case linking Del Naja and Banksy. He built his theory from several of Banksy’s murals and installations appearing in cities in which Massive Attack have recently toured in.
Williams followed Massive Attack and Banksy’s trace across the globe, finding strange coincides in Melbourne, in 2003. Where the band performed in March and a Banksy artwork appeared in the city in April.
Later, in 2006, Massive Attack played a gig in Los Angeles and a full Banksy exhibition took place weeks later. In 2008, Del Naja was working on the soundtrack for a New Orlean-focused documentary ‘Trouble the Water.’ And during the same time, 14 new stencils appeared in the city.
Things get hard to deny in 2010 when Massive Attack was on tour in North America. Banksy artwork was discovered in San Francisco, New Orleans and Toronto days after the group played in each city.
Banksy wrote the foreword to the ‘3D and the Art of Massive Attack’ published on 2015. And Del Naja has previously admitted being close friends with the artist, but can you ever get that close?
Speaking about his findings, Williams said that he thinks Banksy isn’t one person, but a group of multidisciplinary artists from home and abroad, led by Del Naja. The theory makes total sense, but unless being Banksy’s pupil implies some kind of curse or something if you ever reveal the artist’s identity. For me it’s weird that no one ever has ever suggested anything – except for Goldie, by accident.
Goldie denied that he was talking about Del Naja
Days after the podcast, Goldie surfaced with a tweet saying that he had been “on the phone” with Del Naja “rolling around f*cking pissing our pants” after finding out what his name-dropping has caused.
Just on the phone with #3d rolling around fucking pissing our pants 🤣😂🤣❤
— GOLDIE (@MRGOLDIE) June 23, 2017
A source close to the artist has allegedly denied the identity to People Magazine.
But honestly, I don’t believe these claims, everything is just too suspicious. I’ll stick with Williams’ intricate theory and the series of curious coincidences that seem to confirm Banksy is actually Del Naja.