Ska album cover reveals Banksy identity...maybe

A print by Robin Gunningham has emerged, increasing speculation that he is the world-renowned street artist Banksy

Photo: MyArtBroker Mother Samosa's album cover

Few people know Banksy’s closely guarded true identity, but many have speculated that Bristol resident Robin Gunningham is the man behind the anonymous street artist’s infamous moniker. Now, a print of a drawing by Gunningham is being auctioned by online art brokerage My Art Broker, and the rare piece is enticing speculators to wager $5,242 on the name, in the hope that they might get their hands on an original Banksy and finally find out the truth.

The artwork was originally found on a cassette sleeve for the Bristol-based ska band from the 90s Mother Samosa. It was custom made for their 1993 album Oh My God Its Cheeky Clown.

Critics believe that this may be the first piece ever done by Banksy before he gained notoriety, since the inlay sleeve features stylised song lyrics that bear a resemblance to the typeface and lettering that the artist would later use in his more famous stenciled pieces on the street. An anarchic image showing “The Playground of Fear” could be seen as a sign of the twisted sense of humor that would later bring us such carnivalesque Banksy projects as the “Dismaland” theme park in 2015. Moreover critics claim that the work dates to around the same time that Banksy’s famous artworks first started appearing around Bristol and that the LP art is the only known work credited to Gunningham.

“What we do know is that the front cover is credited to Robin Gunningham, whose identity is up to individual interpretation, It’s a name that is widely speculated over online, but this may be the first artwork that has escaped into the public domain that can be indisputably accredited to him,” the auction site’s auctioneer Jack Syer said

Banksy’s true identity has been a prevalent topic in the art world, with Robin Gunningham being tipped as the man behind the moniker for years, albeit he has always denied the repeated links. Last year Goldie kicked it all off again last year when he dropped Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack’s name live on air.

Works by the artist have been purchased at high prices thanks to his elusiveness and provocative, on-the-nose political approach – £361,900 for Vandalised Phone Box to £1.3m for Keep it Spotless. Most recently, a man had been caught on camera stealing a Banksy artwork, valued at £26,000, from an exhibition in Toronto, Canada.

Similar articles