"Banksy is a team of seven artists led by a woman"
November 5, 2014 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Why Banksy Is (Probably) a Woman
The world's foremost street artist is a social justice warrior and a viral media master. She could be anyone.
posted by andoatnp (170 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think I saw this Person of Interest episode.
posted by michaelh at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]




Guys maybe the real Banksy is ....friendship.
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2014 [161 favorites]


Yet these pieces of evidence confuse rather than clarify the issue. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a classic piece of misdirection. Over the course of the movie, the film's would-be documentarian, Thierry Guetta, is exposed as a poor filmmaker. Partway through, Banksy takes over the production, turning it into a documentary about the documentarian instead. To complete the meta romp, Guetta, working under the nomme de rue Mr. Brainwash, proceeds to rips off Banksy's style. All of this means that Fairey, Banksy's co-conspirator in Banksy's film, is an unreliable narrator.

Does this line of thought make any sense?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Why Banksy Is (Probably) a Woman

funny, I just assumed this was Banksy
posted by philip-random at 10:44 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


It really doesn't matter what gender Banksy is. What matters is the art that Banksy creates and how skillful it is in commenting upon the culture it appears within, and how those who find themselves confronted with the art interact with it.

Banksy is an artist, and IMO a pretty brilliant one. Certainly more interesting than many whose names are equally well known in this modern age.

I am happy to be living in the time of Banksy.
posted by hippybear at 10:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


Plot Twist: you're Banksy
posted by Fizz at 10:48 AM on November 5, 2014 [25 favorites]


And then John was a Banksy.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


YOU GUYS BANKSY WAS A GHOST THE WHOLE TIME
posted by nathancaswell at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic Banksy.
posted by stopgap at 10:51 AM on November 5, 2014 [35 favorites]


Plot Twist: you're Banksy

I was a woman the whole time?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


ALL BANKSY = YANK BALLS cabal? more like caball amirirte?
posted by lalochezia at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


It struck me a couple of weeks ago that the creator of the Toynbee Tiles (which have started popping up again this year in the 30's in Manhattan) could just as easily be a woman as a man, though nobody really considers that, it appears.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:54 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Banksy is actually Alexi Pajitnov.
If you look at his works from just the right angle, they all resemble Tetris.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2014


Russell Brand and Banksy on MetaFilter in one day? Criminy. If someone will just do an Amanda Palmer FPP, we can complete the MeFi third rail.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2014 [16 favorites]


We are all Banksy
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:58 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does this line of thought make any sense?

The entire article is a whole lot of assertion and logical leaps without much behind it. As art I give it a C. As journalism: F--
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:58 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


THEN WHO WAS CAN OF SPRAYPAINT??
posted by waraw at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


The call is coming from inside the Banksy.
posted by komara at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [28 favorites]


Everybody is Banksy for 15 minutes. The future is here and it kind of sucks.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


The Banksy is coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!
posted by slogger at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Huh, Banksy being a woman would make sense." Was my thought.

I would never try to prove that point because then you get something like this article which is compelling on a certain level but a whole lot of grasping on another. Glad to have read it, though.

It's more like a gut intuition than a provable truthfact.
posted by Tevin at 11:02 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Russell Brand and Banksy on MetaFilter in one day?

Russell Brand is Banksy!
posted by Foosnark at 11:04 AM on November 5, 2014


In the time of chimpanzees I was a Banksy.
posted by echocollate at 11:04 AM on November 5, 2014 [39 favorites]


On your way to the basement, Banksy suddenly pulls you into the kitchen, shushing you. "Don't go in there, " she whispers. "I heard it too."
posted by yath at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2014 [21 favorites]


At this point, Banksy has kept the mystery going for so long about himself/herself/themselves, that even if someone appeared on television tomorrow unmasked, with id, with photos of them completing various Banksy works, with travel documents verifying they'd been where Banksy was, with corroborating witnesses and statements, would any of us truly 100% believe that?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2014 [24 favorites]


Take a grain of sand, take another grain of sand, make a Banksy
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2014


Banksy's a woman in THIS universe, but a large Russian man in the Ultimates universe and briefly a robot powered by love in the 616-continunity
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2014 [35 favorites]


This has Guerilla Girls written all over it.

In Kryolan, presumably.
posted by Sara C. at 11:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


even if someone appeared on television tomorrow unmasked, with id, with photos of them completing various Banksy works, with travel documents verifying they'd been where Banksy was, with corroborating witnesses and statements, would any of us truly 100% believe that?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:05 AM on November 5 [+] [!] [quote]


I'm sure many would look on that as just another clever Banksy art project. It wouldn't matter if it really was Banksy.
posted by chavenet at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Now here's something that makes Room 237 seem, well, orderly and coherent.
posted by k5.user at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


So Banksy-qua-Banksy is overexposed and annoying. But to the extent Banksy stands for thoughtful street art, I'm glad to see this piece written. There's no real evidence for Banksy's gender, just some slightly sophomoric statement about "masculine ambition", but it's definitely a "why not" moment. And the bit about Banksy being a group of people makes a lot of sense, sort of obvious in retrospect, but I've never seen it written down before. All in all kind of a Guerilla Girls thing. (On preview; jinx Sara C.!)

Then again, street art really is almost exclusively male. The only high exposure woman street artist I can think of is Miss.Tic in Paris (wikipedia). There must be others, can anyone fill me in?
posted by Nelson at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess what I find problematic about the article are the assertions that, because Banksy creates art that 1) routinely features women, 2) doesn't try to assert ego and self-identity into public space, and 3) comments on social and art-world issues, the creator must be female.

Okay, so, I fully grok the point that men are less likely to be doing this kind of thing.

But I also fully grok that a deep thinking artist is likely to be doing this kind of thing, regardless of their gender.

I'm most happy with Banksy being an anonymous entity. If the veil were torn, the magic would be lost. (And most likely, the art with it.)
posted by hippybear at 11:09 AM on November 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


street art really is almost exclusively male.

This is 100% untrue. I helped curate an international street art gallery show back in 2004 and we had several female artists. I'd say probably like 40% female? Obviously our show wasn't directly representative of the totality of all street artists in the world, but if we were able to easily find plenty of women to include in the show (without even consciously trying to be egalitarian/"representational" about it), it's unlikely that there is a real dearth of women doing street art.

I also had a ton of female friends in college who did street art.
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2014 [16 favorites]


The call is coming from inside the Banksy.

Banksy is coming from inside the painting!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2014


OOH! OOH! I JUST WATCHED EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP! I HAVE FRESH THOUGHTS!


Over the course of the movie, the film's would-be documentarian, Thierry Guetta, is exposed as a poor filmmaker.

He's not a good filmmaker but that doesn't mean that what he documented wasn't true. He is a poor editor and has no clue how to take his copious footage and turn it into a cohesive document.


Also, there is footage of Banksy that is not Guetta's, from museum security cameras.

This is not to say that Banksy could not possibly be a woman, but Banksy's street representative is most certainly male.

Guys maybe the real Banksy is ....friendship.

I think this is actually the closest to the truth. "Banksy" is likely the work of several people.

Not that the thought isn't cool, but there isn't much here that convinces me that the head of Banksy Inc. is a woman.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:16 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I like kottke's take: Maybe Banksy is like a Dread Pirate Roberts?
posted by gwint at 11:16 AM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


I'm sure many would look on that as just another clever Banksy art project.

Banksy is Andy Kaufman?
posted by The Bellman at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


AS YOU WISH
posted by louche mustachio at 11:18 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Of course not, if it were a woman, she'd be called Banksie.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


The Dread Pirate Roberts theory would work if 1) Banksy were creating new art a few generations from now, and 2) if the style weren't so damn consistent across the years.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


The thing I find interesting isn't so much "Banksy must be female/male/both/neither/all of the above" but the fact that, honestly I'm a feminist, and I've been following the street art scene for over a decade, and I've known plenty of female street artists, and female representation in the art world is a big deal to me, and it still didn't occur to me that Banksy could be a woman. Because when I think of an anonymous artist, I think of a man.

/sad
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [64 favorites]


I think this must be true, for there is to me something ineluctably feminine about Banksy's painting.
posted by Justinian at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Look it's like the end of Buffy, everyone who CAN be Banksy BECOMES Banksy
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


Maybe Banksy doesn't come from a store. Maybe Banksy, perhaps, means a little bit more.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2014 [17 favorites]


Banski, with a heart over the i. And fresh baked cookies in front of each piece. Or, y'know, not at all
posted by waraw at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2014


Banksy is three smaller Banksys standing one atop the other, all cloaked in a trench coat.

Who are the three smaller Banksys? Three even smaller Banksys.

It's Banksys all the way down.
posted by logicpunk at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2014 [18 favorites]


So Banksii then
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Oh relax kids, I've got a gut feeling Banksy's around here somewhere hahahahaha, after all isn't there a little Banksy in all of us? hahahaha... hahaha, in fact, you might even say we just ate Banksy, and they're in our stomachs... right now! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!... Wait, scratch that one."
posted by entropicamericana at 11:25 AM on November 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


And then Banksy's niece is struck by lightning, becoming Kid Banksy!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


There is no Banksy, only Zuul.
posted by me3dia at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Now if we could just figure out who Bourbaki was...
posted by ennui.bz at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I helped curate an international street art gallery show back in 2004 and we had several female artists.

Awesome! I cheerfully admit my ignorance. Do you have more info on the show you helped curate?

My first attempt at Googling about women street artists failed when I posted earlier, but I did better this time. womenstreetartists.com is a terrific collection of artists, with lots of photos nicely presented. And despite the terrible headlines these three articles all have useful info: 10 Women Street Artists Who Are Better Than Banksy, 21 Daring Women Proving Street Art Isn't Just a Man's Game, and How Bambi, the female Banksy, became the new star of street art.

(What I hate about Banksy is that there's so much diversity in street art, it's dumb to focus on one artist. It'd be like if all anyone knew about French food is Boeuf Bourguignon. That's a fine dish, but there's so much more to know to French cooking.)
posted by Nelson at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Banksy is the breeze that blows through your window in spring time and wakes you with a start.

Banksy is the warming of your stomach as you drink your first cup of tea in the morning.

Banksy is the feeling that maybe you've spent a bit too much time watching TV today, but, on the other hand, you've already done all your chores and isn't it about time you relaxed a bit?

Banksy is the turtle's shell and pidgeon's feather coming together in union.

Banksy is pi to the sixth decimal.

Banksy is eternal.

Banksy is.

Banksy.
posted by Tevin at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Banksy zooms up the street on a cool Suzuki GSX-R with custom satirical decals!!! He looks like he's going to run up onto the sidewalk, but then he pops a wheelie and pivots the bike into a perfect parallel parking job!!! He dismounts!!! He unsnaps the wrist buttons on his motorcycle gloves!!! He pulls off his full-face helmet and shakes loose-

-a long mane of strawberry blonde hair‽ ‽ ‽

"My god in heaven!" gasp onlookers. "Banksy is none than other than...Cousin Itt!!!"

Banksy gibbers something to the effect that it took us long enough.
posted by Iridic at 11:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I AM BANKSY









ok now you guys have to do the SPARTACUS thing or this is gonna look stupid so everybody now!
posted by louche mustachio at 11:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I want Banksy to turn out to be some universally-loathed, wealthy public figure - someone with a trust fund and a well-known name which, if revealed, would unmask a level of societal privilege that would simultaneously harm the whole enterprise in the public eye and logically explain how the artist has enough time and resources to remain active and anonymous for so long. I'm thinking someone who is the daughter or son of a huge media magnate or something like that.

Or Banksy could be Kim Kardashian. That would go a long way toward explaining Kanye's reverence for her as an artist.

But most likely, Banksy is a team of advertising people working for a giant multi-national corporation.
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


I am Banksy.
We are all Banksy.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 11:31 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I AM BANKSY


ok now you guys have to do the SPARTACUS thing or this is gonna look stupid so everybody now!
posted by louche mustachio at 2:30 PM on November 5 [+] [!]




Ok, LOUCHE MUSTACHIO IS BANKSY!

(did I do that right? I mean, I never saw the movie.)
posted by SPUTNIK at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


I feel like this article can be summed up by: "Banksy is a woman because I think Banksy should be a woman."
posted by jferg at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


sigh


You can have a hug.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought The Stig was Banksy.
posted by ckape at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I thought anonymous was Bansky.
posted by yeti at 11:37 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want Banksy to turn out to be some universally-loathed, wealthy public figure - someone with a trust fund and a well-known name which, if revealed, would unmask a level of societal privilege that would simultaneously harm the whole enterprise in the public eye and logically explain how the artist has enough time and resources to remain active and anonymous for so long. I'm thinking someone who is the daughter or son of a huge media magnate or something like that.

Paris Hilton? Maybe the whole wobbly heiress thing was a Bruce Wayne-level long con.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:38 AM on November 5, 2014 [23 favorites]


ok now you guys have to do the SPARTACUS thing or this is gonna look stupid so everybody now!

Banksy is Spartacus!

OK?
posted by The Bellman at 11:38 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am Groot.
posted by Foosnark at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Banksy is Spartacus!

And so is my wife!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Actually, Banksy is about ethics in journalism.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2014 [33 favorites]


how is banksy formed?
posted by kliuless at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2014 [18 favorites]


I think Banksy is a pretty cool guy. Eh does street art and doesnt afraid of anything.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


I want Banksy to turn out to be...

I am pretty sure that DirtyOldTown is right. At this point, no one will ever be Banksy because no one will ever believe it isn't a put on.

Although if I had to pick someone, I'm going with Bill Drummond.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:48 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Filmcritic Hulk is Banksy.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:49 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Bansky IS
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on November 5, 2014


This type of article is what "bread and circuses" looks like for the progressive hipster set.
posted by foot at 11:51 AM on November 5, 2014


Banksy is the opiate of the progressive hipster?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:54 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Parklife!
posted by foot at 11:56 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


If you took a couple of David Bowies and stuck one of the David Bowies on top of the other David Bowie, then attached another David Bowie to the end of each of the arms of the upper of the first two David Bowies and wrapped the whole business up in a dirty beach robe you would then have something which didn't exactly look like Banksy, but which those who knew him would find hauntingly familiar.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:57 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


There have actually been 39 different Banksies through the ages. When a Banksy passes, a search committee is formed to scour every meat packing center, ethnic enclave, and red light district that has been gentrified to a hip artistic neighborhood for the newborn that bears the stenciled birthmark.
posted by FJT at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


Banksy never REALLY went to the Moon, sheeple! It was Stanley Kubrick all along!!!
posted by Devonian at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This type of article is what "bread and circuses" looks like for the progressive hipster set.

"Gluten-free ciabatta and Jim Rose," then?
posted by kewb at 11:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Nelson, I had trouble remembering/digging up info, but two of the artists we featured were Miss Van (whose style is ubiquitous along the lines of Space Invader and Banksy, though she's arguably less famous) and the all-female collective Mickry 3 (who it seems are doing more installation and sculpture work these days).
posted by Sara C. at 12:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


progressive hipster

Twee ukulele songs twenty-five minutes long.
posted by Grangousier at 12:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is one of these posts on Metafilter were I love the injokes and references of the comments so much that I'll completely forget to read the article OR what it was about in the first place.

Thanks. :)
posted by bigendian at 12:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


I want Banksy to turn out to be some universally-loathed, wealthy public figure - someone with a trust fund and a well-known name which, if revealed, would unmask a level of societal privilege that would simultaneously harm the whole enterprise in the public eye and logically explain how the artist has enough time and resources to remain active and anonymous for so long.

Scott Adams is Banksy. It makes so much sense.
posted by rocket88 at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Like Sara C I'm disappointed in myself for unquestioningly assuming Banksy was a guy. I don't find the actual argument here that convincing, as it basically boils down to "men art like THIS but women art like THAT", but really that's fine. Reminding me of a big blind spot is way more valuable than just telling me one of the things that I didn't see because of it. By that metric, this article did great.
posted by aubilenon at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did I ever tell you about the time I went horseback riding with Bill Banksy, but there weren't any horses around? Well, Bansky throws a saddle on my back and rides me around Wyoming for three days. Well, wouldn't you know it, my stamina increases with each day and I develop tremendous leg muscles. So anyway, Banksy decides to enter me in the Breeders' Cup, right, under the name Turkish Delight. And I'm running in second place, and I'm running and I break my ankle! They’re about to shoot me. Then someone from the crowd yells out, God bless him, "Don't shoot him, he's a human."


TO BILL BANKSY!
posted by onehalfjunco at 12:06 PM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


aubilenon, Sara C: I felt disappointed too, and then I started thinking about when I first heard of Bansky, and I'm positive that gendered pronouns were used, so it's not like we made these assumptions while staring at a blank slate.
posted by komara at 12:08 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I want Banksy to turn out to be some universally-loathed, wealthy public figure - someone with a trust fund and a well-known name which, if revealed, would unmask a level of societal privilege that would simultaneously harm the whole enterprise in the public eye and logically explain how the artist has enough time and resources to remain active and anonymous for so long.

I had been under the impression that Banksy had basically been unmasked several years ago, perhaps as fallout from ETTGS? I feel like it was posted here, though as an FPP or in a comment I can't remember.

And if my memory is correct, he basically is exactly as you described: upper-middle or lower-upper UK, perhaps minor aristocracy in there somewhere, educated at public schools, the whole bit.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:12 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Banksy could be a Seward Johnson project, designed and run by Johnson, but executed by hired artists, like Warhol and lots and lots of other artists have done it over the years. Johnson has the family wealth and certainly has the artistic acumen for it.
posted by The World Famous at 12:13 PM on November 5, 2014


gendered pronouns were used

A lot of publishing style guides specify the use of male pronouns for ambiguous situations, gender neutral individuals, and mixed-gender collectives. So the use of male pronouns in the media is meaningless here.

Especially since if a bunch of feminists just assumed Banksy was a dude because we default to assuming unspecified people are male, it stands to reason that other people do that unconsciously all the time, as well.

The only evidence I can see that Banksy is definitely one person who is male is that Shepard Fairey refers to Banksy as male. Because presumably Shepard Fairey has met Banksy. However, there are a lot of other reads of that. For example maybe Shepard Fairey has not met Banksy. Maybe Shepard Fairey only thinks he's met Banksy. Maybe Banksy asked Shepard Fairey to use male pronouns to throw people off the scent. Who knows, really?
posted by Sara C. at 12:17 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


And if my memory is correct, he basically is exactly as you described: upper-middle or lower-upper UK, perhaps minor aristocracy in there somewhere, educated at public schools, the whole bit.

Well it's most likely that Banksy has some kind of "high art" pedigree, so, yeah, it would be really surprising for Banksy to be some homeless guy or a street gang leader or whatever the alternative is outside of "middle class educated person".

More surprising, in my mind, than discovering that Banksy was a woman, or was a collective, both of which are much more common in the art world than random uneducated savants from poor backgrounds.
posted by Sara C. at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Banksy by now really seems to be more of a state of mind, indeed, of being, than an actual person. Perhaps the questions we should be asking are not "Who is Banksy? Where does (s?)he come from?" but rather, "How can I be Banksy? What positive steps can I take in my own life to approach, and eventually to attain, Banksydom?"
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 12:27 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The person who became Banksy was bitten by a radioactive can of spraypaint when visiting a museum and has sworn to use their powers only for street art
posted by scrump at 12:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he's Edward de Vere.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


If I were Banksy, my friends would have ratted me out ages ago.

If you want to know who Banksy is, look for a British person who is surrounded by a social circle of Great and Unusual Quality.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


(and spraypaint stains on their fingers)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:37 PM on November 5, 2014


Huh.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:38 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he's Edward de Vere.

Oh God, not this again. The whole Bankxfordian movement is so fucking elitist. Banksy is Banksy. Just accept it.
posted by The Bellman at 12:40 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hah.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:42 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh that's fantastic, louche.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:44 PM on November 5, 2014


If you've ever wondered what The Onion would be like if it wasn't funny at all, look no further than National Report!
posted by Tevin at 12:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Perhaps the questions we should be asking are not "Who is Banksy? Where does (s?)he come from?" but rather, "How can I be Banksy? What positive steps can I take in my own life to approach, and eventually to attain, Banksydom?"

This is far from the dumbest thing I have read today.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:46 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm going to spray stencils of this guy everywhere and call myself Franksy. You heard it here first.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:49 PM on November 5, 2014


Banksy is probably just Hanksy.

The style is a dead giveaway.
posted by Peccable at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2014


The specific faux-edginess and mainstream-masquerading-as-underground nature of the work strikes me as particularly male. I don't have anything other than that gut feeling, but there you go. A female banksy would have more interesting things to say, I think, or a different way of saying them. The message wouldn't be as easily swallowed. (No doubt these are problematic assumptions.)
posted by naju at 1:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]




Malkovich Malkovich
posted by stevil at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Upon visiting our world, Banksy gained the ability to inhabit other forms will. "I do not assume forms," Banksy said. "I consume them." In this way he can "leap" from body to body, using other beings to express his will. After Banksy relinquishes control of a person's mind, that person has no recollection of ever having hosted Banksy.

The terrifying thing is not that you could one day become Banksy, but that you may already have been Banksy.
posted by compartment at 1:23 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Hello, I'm...Mr. Ysknab. Frankly, the original article makes a provocative point, but I don't think we'll ever really know who Banksy is.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Banksy's not a woman -- King Robbo is a woman.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:32 PM on November 5, 2014


That's right! Kids come running for the rich taste of Banksy!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hello, I'm...Mr. Ysknab.

And with that, Banksy vanished to his home in the 5th dimension for 90 days.
posted by kewb at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line. "Get the children, go next door, and call 911," he said. "We don't have a statue of Banksy."
posted by brookedel at 1:40 PM on November 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


THEN I FELL OUT OF BED AND WOKE UP WITH A BANKSY
posted by Sebmojo at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2014


In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Banksy, you see.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:44 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Unbeknownst to Speed, Banksy was really his older brother Rex.
posted by Foosnark at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Banksy had grown so rich from his humorous (yet faintly troubling) social justice graffiti activities, that he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the real Banksy' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited this spraycan from the previous Banksy, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Banksy either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Banksy has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.'
posted by Sebmojo at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


And only say that you'll be mine
In no others' arms entwine
Down beside where the waters flow
Down by the Banksy of the Ohio
posted by octobersurprise at 1:50 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well when I was a young one I heard my father say
That he'd rather see me dead and buried in the clay
Sooner than be married to any runaway
By the lovely sweet Banksy of red roses
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2014


There is an alternate version of Earth out there in the infinitude of the cosmos that is exactly like our Earth, but Banksy doesn't exist. Instead, by pure, unfathomably unlikely random coincidence, black pigment molecules, suspended in the atmosphere for years from disparate sources have, through air currents and Brownian motion, converged on and adhered to, various city surfaces in a distinct pattern of subversive critiques of societal structures.

Perhaps that Earth, is this Earth.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly who Banksy is and why she is here, she will instantly disappear and be replaced by someone even more bizarre and inexplicable.

"There is another theory which states that this has already happened"
posted by bitteroldman at 2:21 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


This article is written on the presumption that we kept giving a shit about Bansky after 2009 or so, which is not the case.

Exit through the gift shop is neat in the "F For Fake" type of way, but the super cliche anti-authority bullshit stuff he/she makes is so lame at this point.
posted by GreyboxHero at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2014


Your favourite band sucks, too.

The wonderful thing about Bankys
Is Banksys are wonderful things
Their hands are made out of spraypaint
And their IDs are made out of ain't

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:24 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


This article is written on the presumption that we kept giving a shit about Bansky after 2009

come on dude your harshing my banksy
posted by octobersurprise at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


If I were Banksy, my friends would have ratted me out ages ago.

If you want to know who Banksy is, look for a British person who is surrounded by a social circle of Great and Unusual Quality.


Quoted for truth. Obviously hundreds if not thousands of people know who Banksy is, and none of them have squealed. Yay Bristol.
posted by glasseyes at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014


Mairzy doats
and dozy doats
and liddle Banksy divey
A kiddley divey too,
Wouldn't you?

posted by Iridic at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Banksy is actually Sir Francis Bacon.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Remember remember
The fifth of November
Guy Fawkes was really
a Gal
posted by Nelson at 2:35 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Iridic, funny thing: I've had that song stuck in my head for GodBanksy knows why for like a week.

Replace Heart with Butt Banksy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know about you, but I think Peter Capaldi has been doing a tremendous job as the 12th Banksy.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Mairzy doats
and dozy doats
and liddle Banksy divey
A kiddley divey too,
Wouldn't you?


He's BOB?
posted by naju at 2:38 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Justinian: I think this must be true, for there is to me something ineluctably feminine about Banksy's painting.

I thought you were referencing Acton Bell or something here, should have guessed who it really was. Nicely done.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:39 PM on November 5, 2014


This type of article is what "bread and circuses" looks like for the progressive hipster set.

Seriously. Heralding Banksy as a "social justice warrior" is like saying Shepard Fairey is comparable to Alberto Korda just because the former created the Obama "Hope" poster.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2014


Banksy. Banksier. Banksiest.
posted by Grangousier at 2:50 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


They say that in the Banksy, the Banksy's mighty fine
You ask for Banksy-Cola, they give you Banksytine
Oh I don't want no more of Banksy life
Banksy I wanna go
Banksy won't let me go
Banksy I wanna go hoooooome
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:55 PM on November 5, 2014


Banksyyyyy
All alone in the moonlight
With the spraycan beside him
He is painting alone
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:58 PM on November 5, 2014


THIS IS JUST TO SAY

I have outed
the Banksy
that tore up
the phonebox

and which
you were probably
hoping
would paint you

Forgive me
he was anonymous
and I
had a deadline
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Banksy is your father. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
posted by um at 3:30 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Banksy is actually a time-traveling Augustus John.
posted by winna at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2014


Russell Brand and Banksy on MetaFilter in one day? Criminy. If someone will just do an Amanda Palmer FPP, we can complete the MeFi third rail.

Yeah or Lena Dunh-- aww, shit.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


A father and son have a car accident and are both badly hurt. They are both taken to separate hospitals. When the boy is taken in for an operation, Banksy says 'I can not do the surgery because this is my son'. How is this possible?
posted by bitteroldman at 3:52 PM on November 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


Is it Worf Day yet?
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:53 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


For the vaguely curious, there is decent book: Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall by Will Ellsworth-Jones.

It puts his career into a sort of context (I personally doubt that B is a she, but I could be corrected.) WE-J is journalist with an arm's length from the Arts-scene, so he's not all reverent or biased, but still genuinely interested in the art and the attached social phenomenon. WE-J hints that he knows who Banksy is, but he doesn't quite spill beans because of the promises he made to Banksy's associates for interview access. After reading this book, I watched 'Exit Through The Gift Shop' again, and it was really a lot funnier the second time around! (A paraphrase quip from the editor of the film, when asked if Thierry really existed: "I wish he didn't exist.")
posted by ovvl at 4:04 PM on November 5, 2014


When did Banksy start doing art pieces and pranks that weren't stencil-based? The first one I can rememberwas replacing Paris Hilton's album with a Banksy-fied version at some stores in London around 2006. That might be the turning part of an artist and their friends/assistants to more of a committee - run Banksy.
posted by elr at 4:19 PM on November 5, 2014


The Tenth Banksy is my favorite Banksy, but I've also got a soft spot for Tom Baker.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:23 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


This article is written on the presumption that we kept giving a shit about Bansky after 2009 or so, which is not the case.

I give a shit about Banksy because, like many of the others commenting here today, I am Banksy.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:25 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Was it supposed to be satire? I honestly couldn't tell. If we're supposed to take it seriously, it sounds like the main arguments for Banksy being a woman are that one artist says so (despite a number of other prominent people saying otherwise) and that a man wouldn't feature empathy or women in his art. I guess that means pretty much every great male artist ever was also secretly a woman. Picasso was a lady! There's a shocker.

(I know, the writer says women don't appear in "99% of street art," but I think we can agree that Banksy isn't just some tagger. This stuff is supposed to be fine art, on the street.)

I also found a lot of really questionable gender assumptions in there. Just as a for instance, the dismissal of female graffiti artists because graffiti is a guy thing that guys do to declare dominance of public spaces... you know, like catcalling. That bit took a lot of strange turns on its way to Bullshit Town.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:42 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Guys, weren't we all Time Magazine's Banksy of the Year in 2006?
posted by Turkey Glue at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


who cares as long as they stop getting press and stop doing what they do?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 5:04 PM on November 5, 2014


Also, in LA I'd say that there may be more women than men depicted in street art. Admittedly those women are often sexualized, but even so...
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:08 PM on November 5, 2014


For the Snark was a Banksy, you see.

I, personally, just got chills.
posted by The Bellman at 5:13 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's always been Bankershim.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Banksy is a ham hock in your cornflakes.
posted by uosuaq at 5:22 PM on November 5, 2014


Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great artist Banksy is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says "But Doctor... I am Banksy."
posted by jason_steakums at 5:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


Hey... maybe Banksy is Boxxy!
posted by zorseshoes at 5:49 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I were a woman street artist, I would have a strong desire for anonymity. Much stronger than my male counterparts. Being good and in the public eye leads to a whole lot of grief for women. (c.f. GamerGate, etc. etc.) There's a huge incentive for remaining anonymous.

If Banksy is really a woman (or a woman has any part of the Banksy anything), I hope she stays anonymous forever for that reason. Also, everyone would think her art suddenly sucks due to her dastardly vagina.*

*And yes, the Dastardly Vaginas would be an excellent name for a rock band.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:06 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nelson:

In terms of high-profile woman street artists, Swoon comes to mind.
posted by deadbilly at 6:50 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


And of course I replied before seeing all the other comments about "high profile women street artists". Mainly, Swoon is a personal favorite.
posted by deadbilly at 6:54 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


How the hell do you assign gender to a sled?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


1. Get enough food to eat,
and eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of Banksy,
and listen to it.

4.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


From the Daily Mail article: The man in the photograph, he insisted, was formerly known as Robin Gunningham - and it didn't require much imagination to work out how such a name could result in the nickname Banksy.

Can someone with more imagination work this out for me?
posted by moonlet at 9:03 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Robbin banks
Robin Banksy ?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's amusing that now Banksy could state that he isn't eight people and that any statement would be parsed for loopholes.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:19 PM on November 5, 2014


Banksy was actually his sled.
posted by PenDevil at 11:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some say... that he can actually inhale Krylon and live... or that his shoes are big enough to fit an entire cow... all we know is...he's called the Banksy.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:16 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Guetta, working under the nomme de rue Mr. Brainwash

Guetta? Or... Paul F. Tompkins?

My work here is done.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 AM on November 6, 2014


Brandon Blatcher: Yet these pieces of evidence confuse rather than clarify the issue. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a classic piece of misdirection. Over the course of the movie, the film's would-be documentarian, Thierry Guetta, is exposed as a poor filmmaker. Partway through, Banksy takes over the production, turning it into a documentary about the documentarian instead. To complete the meta romp, Guetta, working under the nomme de rue Mr. Brainwash, proceeds to rips off Banksy's style. All of this means that Fairey, Banksy's co-conspirator in Banksy's film, is an unreliable narrator.

Does this line of thought make any sense?
Yes, absolutely. I watched the film, loved it, and often think about it.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:53 AM on November 6, 2014


I also loved the film, but I think what Brandon Blatcher is getting at is that paragraph skips an awful lot of "show your work". On the other hand, that basically described the entire article, so.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:11 PM on November 6, 2014


I think what he's saying is that there's no reason that one would expect Shepard Fairey to tell the truth about Banksy considering that he is, as Brandon Blatcher put it, a co-conspirator who helped Banksy pull off at least one of his/her stunts. Using Fairey's descriptions as evidence would be as useless as using anything in Exit Through the Gift Shop as evidence. The entire thing is purposeful disinformation.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:38 PM on November 6, 2014


I also loved the film.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:33 PM on November 6, 2014


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