YouTube User Claims to Capture Banksy in Cell Phone Video
We're not so sure.
Another week, another supposed unmasking of the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy.
A brief video posted by YouTube user Mia S and shot on Hosier Lane, an approved location for street art in Melbourne, Australia, purports to show the artist, who has been able to maintain a secret identity for decades despite rabid curiosity and widespread speculation.
There are reasons to be skeptical.
“Oh my god, I think I just saw Banksy,” she whispers at the beginning of the video, but she says so long before getting close to the artist or seeing the work.
As she approaches, the graffiti artist, in jeans, a dark jacket, hooded sweatshirt, and watch cap, gathers his tools and walks off.
She turns to focus on the artwork, letting him gain some distance, rather than staying on his tail, as a good pursuer would. She captures the work with remarkable clarity for someone breathlessly hunting down the “elusive” Banksy.
The piece shows a woman in a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Fuck off, we’re fools” inside the profile of Australia, topped with the text “Please explain?” The work is signed with a stencil of the artist’s name, which does resemble the signature on some of his previous street works.
“Banksy! Hey!” She yells as she approaches. He turns to reveal a half-concealed face, only his bespectacled eyes and nose showing above a scarf.
“Fuck off!” he says, his voice muffled, and flees.
We’ll take that advice for now.
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