Banksy, who remained anonymous throughout his career, spoke about the anti-authority nature of his work that still exists today in a Radio 4 interview, recorded 20 years ago. It was finally broadcast for the first time as part of a BBC documentary called Banksy’s story.
During the video interview, the artist revealed his real name at one point.
“Are you happy for me to use your name?” I mean, The Independent did it,” journalist Nigel Screw asked Bansky, who replied: “Yeah.” “Is this Robert Banks?” the journalist continued, to which Banksy replied: “It’s Robbie.” ‘Robbie. ALL RIGHT. Robbie,” Clé reiterated.
In the interview, Banksy or Banks questioned whether the graffiti constituted vandalism and said: “If it’s done correctly, it’s illegal!” But I had a good reaction, I think most people responded to my work. You know, I’ve even had police officers in the past say they like certain things about it, but… I just think it’s my right to go out and paint it.
He added: “And it’s also someone else’s right to go and paint on it if they don’t like it, you know? It actually doesn’t take much time with a bucket of white paint to paint over it. I think it’s better if you treat the city like a big playground, you know? It’s there to mess around, you know?
Revealing that he wasn’t interested in the “art world”, Banks said: “I don’t know… it’s not something I’m really interested in.” I’m more interested in art that people vote for with their feet than a millionaire judging you and telling people if you’re art or not.
When it was pointed out that his paintings were on sale for £15,000, Banksy replied: “Apparently!” That’s not what I get for them! No, I make paintings these days, you know? And yes, I don’t really know who buys them. Maybe I should find out. Good point.”