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Who Is Banksy and Can You Bet on His Identity?

by Scott Kacsmar
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baksy tag graffiti artist

For more than 20 years now, people have speculated about the identity of Banksy, the pseudonym given to England’s most famous street artist known for his unique style of graffiti.

In the era of social media and mass information, Banky’s real identity has surprisingly never been confirmed despite his long line of artistic works, including several books and an Oscar-nominated documentary entitled Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010).

But after someone recently sued Banksy for defamation, his identity could finally be exposed through the court after years of secrecy.

Top offshore sportsbooks, such as BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) offer odds for the real identity of Banksy, and some of the choices are downright comical. But when Robin Gunningham is easily the odds-on favorite with +300 odds of being Banksy, is there actually some solid value to be had here?

tom brady donald trump

We Know Who Banksy Is Not

Again, some of the choices being offered at BetOnline on Banksy’s identity are clearly jokes as you would have to be a foolish person to ever bet on these.

My first thought was “Watch them say it’s someone like Donald Trump or Tom Brady”, and sure enough, they were the last names on the long list with +100000 odds each. They could be +100000000 odds and it still wouldn’t be worth a play.

Suggesting it could be Dylan Mulvaney (+80000) is also a slap in the face as Mulvaney was not even born yet when Banksy started doing art in the early 1990s.

What we know about Banksy is that he is a white male around 50 years old, and reports have him connected to Bristol, a city in England. So, you can forget about it being someone with the age and melanin of Morgan Freeman (+80000) or a 35-year-old female artist from Australia like CJ Hendry (+7500).

There are 5 people with odds of +1000 or better as being Banksy. We are going to go through each of them.

invader french artist

The Longshots for Banksy

Invader (+1000) is a French artist with a considerably different art style to Banksy as 8-bit video games influence his work. He also was featured in the 2010 documentary directed by Banksy, so if they were the same person, why would he give a supporting role to himself as a Frenchman? Banksy is not Invader, who remains anonymous himself to this day.

If lawyer Aaron Wood (+1000) is Banksy, then this is the greatest deception since Billy Loomis had Ghostface stab him in Scream to throw us off the trail that he was the killer. Wood rose to minor fame as the lawyer who beat Banksy in court in 2020 over a trademark dispute, and he is still hounding him today. To Banksy, Wood is more like the villainous Javert from Les Misérables. The odds should be even more unlikely on this one.

Joy Millward (+800) has been identified as the woman married to Banksy. They reportedly met back in 2003 before marrying in 2006. Millward works as a lobbyist. While there have been rumors that Banksy is a woman, most evidence points to that being false. This would not be the first case of a woman doing a man’s art and not getting the credit – see Tim Burton’s 2014 film Big Eyes about Margaret Keane – but most likely she is just the wife of the artist.

robert del naja british artist musician

Banksy’s First Name Likely Starts with a ‘R’

Robert Del Naja (+800) is where things get more interesting as he is a white male, 58 years old, a graffiti artist from Bristol, and he formed the trip-hop band Massive Attack in 1988. Some of Banksy’s murals have been spotted in places where the band toured over the years, fueling the speculation that Del Naja is the elusive artist.

Del Naja has the physical attributes to match Banksy, the location, someone with an artistic side, and he knows a thing or two about being in the limelight from his time in Massive Attack. It is plausible that he could be doing Banksy art on the side and kept his identity hidden all these years.

There was also a podcast in 2017 where DJ Goldie let the name “Robert” slip after a reference to Banksy and his art, which fans thought confirmed that Del Naja is Banksy. But the full quote can give a different interpretation.

“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… No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”

He could mean that Banksy’s name would give the shirts a boost in sales, and that is not to disrespect Del Naja, who is a popular artist in his own right, but not on the level of Banksy. However, after the interview sparked controversy, Goldie admitted he said that to purposely get fans riled up. It could even be possible that Goldie said “Rob” rather than a full “Robert” on the podcast, which could have been short for Robin.

Banksy and Del Naja may very well be friends and move in similar circles, but they are most likely different people.

robin gunningham

Banksy Is (Probably) Robin Gunningham

That just leaves the most likely suspect in Robin Gunningham (+300). The Mail on Sunday, a British tabloid, broke this story way back in 2008 despite it never being 100% verified to this day. But the belief is Robin Gunningham was born in 1973 or 1974 near Bristol. They identified his parents, they figured out which elementary school he attended, and some of Gunningham’s old associates and classmates at Bristol Cathedral School corroborated the story.

There are rumors going back to Gunningham’s youth and his days as a goalkeeper that teammates called him Robin Banks or Robin Banx before it was shortened to Banksy.

Gunningham is the first defendant listed in the new defamation case that may ultimately confirm Banksy’s identity. Gunningham and wife Joy Millward have always kept silent about the speculation since it started years ago, but the secrecy over Banky’s identity may finally come to an end.

Take the +300 and wait for the case to close on the artist who will always be known best as Banksy.

Pick: Who is Banksy? Robin Gunningham (+300) at BetOnline

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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