Why Is Real Banksy Just a Contemporary Myth?

Banksy New Art
Photo credit: Banksy / banksy.co.uk

What if real Banksy doesn’t exist? Has such an idea ever crossed your mind? Given the popularity of the world-famous artist and its total anonymity, he resembles a ghost, a contemporary legend existing only in the heads of people. The only problem is that new murals cannot paint themselves.

Let’s set assumptions aside. Does Banksy’s identity really matter? The media meticulously analyzes every artist’s step, while many people—fans included—hope to catch the stencil painter red-handed. But does it make sense? Here is why the contemporary world of art doesn’t need to know Banksy’s real name and why his anonymity is actually a fairly positive thing?

No one needs real Banksy, and why it is a good thing

The number one reason why Banksy should remain an anonymous artist is that it just works. Believe it or not, the fact that people don’t know much about the graffiti master makes his works even more appealing and popular. People have always been attracted by the unknown. It doesn’t, though, mean that Banksy art is of low quality or that he is actually an overhyped figure in the art industry. And yet, the chances are that many people wouldn’t know him without an extensive interest in his persona on the Internet.

Furthermore, he is indeed a contemporary legend. Being a social warrior and urban hero, he goes as a role model for generations of young people. Just like in Robin Hood, knowing the real identity of the hero will only ruin the entire game. Symbolically speaking, he is important as a part of a modern myth. By revealing this myth, real Banksy will most certainly lose its charm and individuality.

What do you think? Does society need to know who real Banksy is? Or is it important for contemporary people to focus on art rather than an artist?