English DJ and visual artist Goldie has given further credence to long-running rumors that Massive Attack frontman Robert Del Naja is actually mysterious graffiti artist Banksy – the only dilemma has been whether it was simply a slip of the tongue or a carefully thought-out comment.
Commenting on Banksy’s commercialization on Scroobius Pip’s ‘Distraction Pieces’ podcast, the Walsall-born DJ said:
“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.”
The 51-year-old then paused awkwardly, before quickly changing the subject, perhaps realizing his faux pas.
Many fans were quick to notice the comment and could not see another Robert it could have referred to other than the founding member of the Bristol trip-hop sensation – an artist Goldie himself collaborated with in the late 1980s.
Over the years, rumors about Banksy being Del Naja’s alter ego were fueled by the location overlap of the street artist’s work with spots where Massive Attack had recently – or were soon set to – perform.
In April 2003 a work of Banksy reportedly appeared in Melbourne, where the band had played one month previously. In 2010, six Banksy murals were said to have appeared in San Francisco on the 1st of May; Massive Attack had played two shows in the city only a few weeks before.
Del Naja is a 52-year-old singer-songwriter who was a graffiti artist before the 1988 foundation of Massive Attack in his hometown of Bristol. Considered a pioneer of the stencil graffiti movement, his artwork has appeared on all of the seminal band’s record sleeves and Banksy himself has cited his work as an influence.
Speculation that Del Naja, in fact, is Banksy first started in 2013 when the singer exhibited his second solo show, which spanned 20 years of his work. Del Naja himself has said it is ‘a good story but sadly not true’.
“Wishful thinking, I think,” he said. “Banksy is a mate as well. He’s been to some of the gigs. It’s purely a matter of logistics and coincidence, nothing more than that.”
Scroll down for a look inside Dismaland, one of Banksy’s most famous projects. Imagined as a sinister take on Disneyland, the artist has called the temporary art installation in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a ‘Bemusement Park’ and an ‘anti-theme park’.