Robin Gunningham has long been suspected as the man behind mysterious, signature street art, known to the world as Banksy. The first claim originally hit the press in July 2008 in a piece by the Mail on Sunday, which claimed to have unmasked Gunningham. A photograph of him with spray cans in Jamaica was included, taken around the same time confirmed artworks by Banksy appeared on the Island. The accusation has long been denied. The artwork below surfaced first around the time Banksy was beginning to pop up around Bristol last week. The ska band’s album artwork is thought to be a pre-Banksy Banksy and is once again fuelling rumours that Bristol-based Robin Gunningham is his true identity
Originally found on a cassette sleeve for a Bristol-based ska band from the 90s, the design uses typeface and styles of drawings found in the anonymous artist’s early work. The piece was made for band Mother Samosa’s album ‘Oh My God it’s Cheeky Clown’ in 1993 and went on auction for over £4,000 on MyArtBroker.com at exactly the time new Banksy art appeared in Bristol last week. The artwork is the only known artwork credited to Robin Gunningham, making it a rare find.
The monikers true identity has been a hot topic in the art world for decades – with Goldie claiming Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack to be the real Banksy last year, live on air. Banksy’s works have been purchased at pretty penny thanks to his elusiveness and on-the-nose political approach – £361,900 for Vandalised Phone Box to £1.3 million 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. New artwork by Banksy has appeared recently in Paris, Bristol and even Russia. Check out the print from the 90’s below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.