A member of the band Massive Attack may be the elusive artist Banksy.
Journalist Craig Williams concludes that Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, who was a graffiti artist in the 1980s, may in fact be Banksy, according to an Aug. 29 article he wrote on his blog, transmissionglasgow. Williams also suggests the artwork could be created by a group of people led by Del Naja who are linked to the band.
His conclusion is based on researching Massive Attack’s concerts and how artwork by Banksy continually appears around the same time in the same locations across the world.
On at least six occasions, more than a dozen murals by Banksy have appeared just before or after a Massive Attack show, including those in San Francisco, California, Toronto, Canada, and Boston, Massachusetts.
When Del Naja was in New Orleans, Louisiana, co-writing the soundtrack to the documentary “Trouble the Water," 14 stencils popped up around the city.
In Melbourne, Australia, in 2003, a Banksy work appeared the month after Massive Attack performed.
Massive Attack also just happened to be in Los Angeles, California, a week before Banksy’s Barely Legal exhibition took place in the city.
Leo Delauncey of the Daily Mail compiled the research into an easy to follow infographic:
It’s no secret that Banksy and Del Naja are friends, as the artist has admitted it over the course of his career. They have also exhibited together in the past, and Banksy cites Del Naja as an influence on his work, Williams notes in the article.
But it is possible that Del Naja is not Banksy, rather a ring leader for artists who are all painting under the name.
“Perhaps the assertion then that Banksy is just one person is wide of the mark, instead being a group who have, over the years, followed Massive Attack around and painted walls at their leisure,” Williams wrote. “And perhaps, at the head of such a group we have Del Naja. A multi disciplined artist in front of one the seminal groups in recent British music history, doubling up as the planet’s most revered street artist. Now that would be cool.”
The true identity of Banksy has been questioned for years.
In 2008, the Daily Mail named former public schoolboy Robin Gunningham as the artist, and scientists who have analyzed his work back up the claim.
“[Gunningham is] the only serious suspect,” scientists at Queen Mary University of London said in March, citing the use of geographic profiling to make their conclusion.
As Williams research shows, that may not be the case.