Banksy who?
January 17, 2011 10:03 PM   Subscribe

The identity of Banksy is up for auction on eBay. Bidding currently stands at $999,999.00 with 38 bids. He has been "exposed" before.
posted by deadbilly (83 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
"A buck!"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:07 PM on January 17, 2011


A friend of mine who'd worked very hard to be anonymous or at least unidentified for a controversial website was found by a journalist who'd traced tax records. The journalist made a deal - give an interview and he wouldn't publish info. He got the interview.

Then again, there were people who would probably have killed my friend if they had his real name, so I guess everyone won.
posted by jscott at 10:22 PM on January 17, 2011


I don't really understand this. Isn't Banksy's identity a pretty open secret at this point?
posted by killdevil at 10:25 PM on January 17, 2011


Fuck, I get a piece of paper with his TRUE IDENTITY? That's totally worth a million dollars.
posted by dead cousin ted at 10:27 PM on January 17, 2011


Someone should ask the guy to post pics of the piece of paper. You know, to examine the quality of the penmanship and whatnot.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:28 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I keep hearing that everyone knows who Banksy is. Well, I don't. Please share! (Feel free to PM me)
posted by naju at 10:30 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Someone with 682 feedback is the top bidder? That's a lot of history to throw away on a prank bid.
posted by hades at 10:33 PM on January 17, 2011


I'm not sure why his 'true identity' really matters unless it's like Prince Charles or something.

Holy shit that'd be rad if it were Prince Charles.
posted by incessant at 10:34 PM on January 17, 2011 [41 favorites]


If you win this auction I will mail you a piece of paper revealing the true identity of "Banksy". I have uncovered his identity by matching up the prices of his sold pieces to corresponding tax records.

Looks like someone is about to learn the name of Banksy's art dealer.
posted by sour cream at 10:35 PM on January 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Is it Luther Blissett?
posted by zoinks at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


For naju: Robin Gunningham. The photo taken in Jamaica referenced in that article first appeared online as part of a rant from a Jamaican street artist attacking Banksy for rude neo-colonial behavior of some sort. It was linked here at the time but was taken down years ago.
posted by mediareport at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Duh, it's Jerry O'Connell. (The spraypaint cans make for a stealthy getaway.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:41 PM on January 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder how much that paper will go for at art auction, no matter what it is.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:43 PM on January 17, 2011


Here's the comment that linked the story at Afflicted Yard where the photo first appeared, alongside text like this describing how Banksy "swanned around Jamaica as if he owned the place."

So, let this be a lesson to all you arrogant 'media-type' fassyholes ( black, white, or green ) who periodically drop into Jamaica from time to time with your giant superiority complexes and your boring little ideas: us third world niggers have computers and cameras now ; so you'd be well advised to ACT like a guest when you come here to drink out of coconuts or you may just find yourself treated like so many Jamaicans who visit your country----like a sneaky little CRIMINAL!
posted by mediareport at 10:44 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


For naju: mediareport is correct. There was video of him doing one of his works. But yeah, that's the dude.
posted by dead cousin ted at 10:45 PM on January 17, 2011


I have no clue about the validity of that rant, btw, and happen to like Banksy's art (and associated shtick) quite a bit.
posted by mediareport at 10:46 PM on January 17, 2011


For folks not clicking through to the link in the older thread, here's the pic. I don't think there was video.
posted by mediareport at 10:50 PM on January 17, 2011


For a million dollars, I'd expect a whole "You are now Banksy" kit inside that envelope.
posted by Catblack at 11:06 PM on January 17, 2011 [60 favorites]


Maybe the seller is counting on Banksy not wanting to get exposed and therefore "buying back" his identity. Hush money so to say. Which now gave me the idea that perhaps ebay can be used for blackmail. But up an auction for the proven identity of the cabinet minister or hopeful presidential candidate who has a secret lovechild, jack up the price to appropriate levels and make sure that the blackmailee gets wind of it.
posted by sour cream at 11:22 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The keyboard player from Genesis?
posted by scrowdid at 11:24 PM on January 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


sour cream: Maybe the seller is counting on Banksy not wanting to get exposed and therefore "buying back" his identity. Hush money so to say. Which now gave me the idea that perhaps ebay can be used for blackmail. But up an auction for the proven identity of the cabinet minister or hopeful presidential candidate who has a secret lovechild, jack up the price to appropriate levels and make sure that the blackmailee gets wind of it

It seems like the drawback would be 15 members of congress all going "oh shit, he knows about me!" at once.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:26 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's doesn't sound like a drawback.
posted by zoinks at 11:32 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


"That"
posted by zoinks at 11:36 PM on January 17, 2011


For a million dollars, I'd expect a whole "You are now Banksy" kit inside that envelope.

It could be like the end of V For Vendetta by way of The Santa Clause, with the auction winner finding themselves locked into "being" Banksy for as long as they live. Every few weeks or so, Banksy II receives an untraceable text message instructing them to carry out new and ever more daring secret street-art missions, while the original Banksy enjoys his retirement sipping pina coladas and playing shuffleboard.

I'm not sure why his 'true identity' really matters unless it's like Prince Charles or something.

This reminds me of an episode of the recent Justice League cartoon where Lex Luthor switches bodies with The Flash. Thrilled at the opportunity to discover a JLA member's secret identity, Luthor-Flash rushes to a mirror and takes off his mask, only to realize that he has no idea who this person is.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:42 PM on January 17, 2011 [34 favorites]


"I am Spartacus!"
posted by ...possums at 11:53 PM on January 17, 2011


Some funny stuff would be if the top bidder was the Government of ____. They would have him confirming his identity...which links him to his artwork. Sometimes considered vandalism. Which would yield him penalties.

But 1M for that...I don't know about that.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:56 PM on January 17, 2011


The 'winner' of this auction will get a piece of paper. He unfolds the paper and then reads aloud the name written on it.

Ysknab.

At which point all of Banksy's artwork will be unmade and no longer exist.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:14 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The recent "documentary" of/by/with Banksy Exit Through The Giftshop was well worth watching.
posted by sophist at 12:19 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some funny stuff would be if the top bidder was the Government of ____. They would have him confirming his identity...which links him to his artwork. Sometimes considered vandalism. Which would yield him penalties.

The Government of WHERE? I'll pay you to tell me!
posted by doublehappy at 12:19 AM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Catblack: "For a million dollars, I'd expect a whole "You are now Banksy" kit inside that envelope"

Banksy had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Banksy' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited the artwork from the previous Dread Pirate Banksy, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Banksy either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Banksy has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.
posted by sharkfu at 12:20 AM on January 18, 2011 [52 favorites]


That's doesn't sound like a drawback.

Indeed. Sounds more like a bidding war.
posted by kafziel at 12:22 AM on January 18, 2011


I mean, seriously. Who cares? He's just some random middle-class pretenda-chav from the South West. Why is his identity any more important than his "art"?
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:38 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


'I am not the Dread Pirate Banksy' he said. 'My name is

Ace Rimmer.
posted by maxwelton at 12:47 AM on January 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


It would be more interesting if for $1m you would get to *be* bansky.
posted by delmoi at 12:50 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey I had a cool idea... what if, for that auction price, the winner assumes the identity of Banksy?
posted by Meatbomb at 1:17 AM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's a card, isn't he? I suspect that like 'Mr Brainwash' it's all a hoax aimed at winding up the gullible.
posted by DanCall at 1:28 AM on January 18, 2011


I don't do enough million dollar transactions on eBay to understand how this works. I mean, the highest bidder gets a piece of paper that says "Banksy is John Endlemann of 229 Miller Street". What if that bidder goes to 229 Miller Street and talks to John, and John claims that he is not Banksy but rather a turnip farmer who has never heard of Banksy? Does the bidder get his money back? How does eBay handle these kinds of things?

Because I know who killed Kennedy and the last location of Amelia Earhart and the current whereabouts of Elvis, and I think this information would be worth something on some auction site.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:07 AM on January 18, 2011


The 'winner' of this auction will get a piece of paper. He unfolds the paper and then reads aloud the name written on it.
Ysknab.
At which point all of Banksy's artwork will be unmade and no longer exist.


That would definitely be worth a million.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 AM on January 18, 2011


1. Establish career as mysterious, internationally renowned artist.
2. Establish multiple Ebay personas, accruing feedback by buying cheap trinkets.
3. Auction identity of self, ensuring other 'selves' have posted knockout bids.
4. Profit.
posted by Artaud at 2:18 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am Banksy.

White people love me.
posted by Avenger at 2:39 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Notwithstanding that we (that is, the entire world) already has very good reason to believe that Banksy is actually this Robin Gunningham fellow, I'd find it supremely funny if his real name was actually something super-generic, like John Smith.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:42 AM on January 18, 2011


Can't someone just check the tax records of the guy everybody is already saying they think Banksy is against the income that would've been generated by the art auctions or whatever this eBay seller used?? That'd save you a million dollars and be the deal of the year, at least.
posted by dogwalker at 2:47 AM on January 18, 2011



Banksy’s publicist would neither confirm nor deny whether the artist was Robin Gunningham.

I am grateful to live in a world where a man who wants to remain anonymous retains a publicist.
posted by chavenet at 2:57 AM on January 18, 2011 [23 favorites]


Don't confuse me with someone who gives a fuck. I don't "get his art", I couldn't care less who he is, but I bet he's good mates with Brian Warner.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:01 AM on January 18, 2011


I am grateful to live in a world where a man who wants to remain anonymous retains a publicist

We're not talking about Wikileaks again, are we?
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:07 AM on January 18, 2011


from the his feedback:
Shipping time very slow/high in cost, but I was very satisfied with the 7-inch

Well at least he's got that going for him!
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 3:09 AM on January 18, 2011


eponysterical!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:12 AM on January 18, 2011


what if, for that auction price, the winner assumes the identity of Banksy?

What if, instead of assuming the identity of Bansky, they actually had to live in Bansky's body? Like, they hollow-out his innards and you have to live in this real-flesh Banksy suit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:12 AM on January 18, 2011


Well, that's gotta be a better option than having to behave like a media whore twat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:20 AM on January 18, 2011


Banksy suit
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:20 AM on January 18, 2011


But surely it's obvious. It's Iain. His name is on the cover of his books.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:22 AM on January 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient: have to live in this real-flesh Banksy suit.

Kind of like an Edgar Suit (YT)?
posted by Lorem Ipsum Wilder at 4:07 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've just started an ebay auction and will disclose to the winner why any of his matters. good luck bidders!
posted by fatbaq at 4:10 AM on January 18, 2011


I was really hoping he was an 89 year old black woman. Oh well.
posted by nevercalm at 5:15 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of the time Carly Simon sold the identity of the person she wrote about in the song "You're So Vain." If I recall, the money went to charity, and the winners never divulged the secret.
posted by crunchland at 5:40 AM on January 18, 2011


You are Lobby Lud/Kolley Kibber and I want my million pounds!
posted by bystander at 5:47 AM on January 18, 2011


Sure, I know what Banksy is. It's like goldy, and bronzy, except it's a bank, innit?

- Baldric
posted by Naberius at 6:07 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This listing (260720844294) has been removed, or this item is not available.
Back to square 1: the identity of Banksy is "not available". Hahaha!
Banksy consistently makes me laugh, in a good way.
posted by bru at 6:08 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretending to know who Banksy's identity is the new hipster.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:10 AM on January 18, 2011


Reading the anti-hipster hipsters getting all worked up is an added bonus of Banksy's wider renown these days.
posted by i_cola at 6:24 AM on January 18, 2011


Are tax records public? Can anyone just trawl though tax returns? I'd have thought there needed to be an FOI request or something like that, but if the seller's starting point is Banksy's known sales, then you'd need to make a lot of FOI requests.
posted by Ritchie at 6:34 AM on January 18, 2011


I've recently read speculation by more clued-in British writers who are reasonably sure that Banksy is not just one person at this point. The Banksy street art collective, as it were.
posted by mikeh at 7:11 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's one thing to paint graffiti in secret by yourself at night but this guy made a freaking movie. Aren't there 100 people who know his identity? At least one of them had to have thought he was a jerk and loves to tell people about it.
posted by solmyjuice at 7:18 AM on January 18, 2011


Just watch out if the person who's identified has a pointy little beard.

Because that would be the Evil Banksy.
posted by steambadger at 7:19 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it Ghostbusters II?
posted by whuppy at 7:19 AM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gran-gran?

And since the auction is down, here's a site with a partial screencap, and Google cache, which should work for a while.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on January 18, 2011


I didn't but the iphone 4 when it came out because if it was really smart we could have thrown them all into the Gulf of Mexico and they would have gone and closed the BP oil spill hole.

But it was just single-core.
posted by humannaire at 7:44 AM on January 18, 2011


Yes, of course.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:45 AM on January 18, 2011


Something something something something,

Relentless self-promotion: Priceless.
posted by nanojath at 7:46 AM on January 18, 2011


This reminds me of the time Carly Simon sold the identity of the person she wrote about in the song "You're So Vain."

As well it should! That person was: Banksy.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:47 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most of the bids were probably his friends jacking up the price anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 AM on January 18, 2011


For all of you that hate hate Banksy, you should at least watch "Exit through the Gift Shop". Seriously the most intelligent thing that's come out about the art world in years.
posted by cyphill at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2011


...same as in town. This is silly. I would like to see more of these auctions, though...

"I will reveal to you the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin."
"Finally the answer to which came first, the chicken or the egg."
"How you can give your love a cherry that has no stone!"
"FOR SALE: An acre of land between the seafoam and the sea sand."
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:05 AM on January 18, 2011


Banksy is dead. Has been for almost a year.
posted by Jairus at 8:17 AM on January 18, 2011


I didn't but the iphone 4 when it came out because if it was really smart we could have thrown them all into the Gulf of Mexico and they would have gone and closed the BP oil spill hole.

But it was just single-core.


Did clavdivs make a sockpuppet?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:18 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems like the drawback would be 15 members of congress all going "oh shit, he knows about me!" at once.

Seen just a few days ago on Futility Closet:
There is a tradition to the effect that Noel Coward once sent identical notes to the twenty most prominent men in London, saying, ‘All is discovered. Escape while you can.’

All twenty abruptly left town.

— Paul C. Sherr, The Short Story and the Oral Tradition, 1970
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:28 AM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm Banksy!

Eh? I'm Banksy....

I'm Banksy, and so's my wife!

...
posted by Monkeymoo at 8:45 AM on January 18, 2011


I'm Banksy, and so's my wife!

But only one of you can wear the suit at once. The other is forced to dress down in hollowed-out generic graffiti artist.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:18 PM on January 18, 2011


Bessie Biberman.
posted by rush at 12:56 PM on January 18, 2011


Can we stop praising Banksy as an artist? Seriously. We already know what the definition of "artist" is through the works of people like Rembrandt, Monet and Pikachu. Michaelangelo would hardly be reknowned as an artist today if he'd made his reputation drawing all over walls and ceilings.
posted by panboi at 2:14 PM on January 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


If understand the British term correctly, MetaFilter just did a fine job of taking the piss.

I hope that's the right term because, damn, I shared quotes from this thread & my wife and I laughed our asses off.

MeFi: better than what's on TV.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:38 PM on January 18, 2011


Auction dead. Aw.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:38 PM on January 18, 2011


His real name is Paul Banksy, but he didn't think of the anonymity thing until later, the Gunningham thing was a lucky break though.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:25 PM on January 19, 2011


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