Is Robert Del Naja Banksy? | The Sun

HE’S is the most famous graffiti artist in the world, but Banksy’s true identity has never been revealed.

Could Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja be Banksy? Here’s what we know.

Who is Robert De Naja?

Best known as the founding member of the band Massive Attack, Robert Del Naja is a 52-year-old artist, activist and musician.

Born in Brighton, to an Engish mother and Italian father, Robert was raised in Bristol, where he went to school in Filton. 

Robert made his name as a graffiti artist around Bristol, before turning his hand to music.

Robert, also referred to as 3D, was known locally for pioneering the stencil style also employed by Banksy.

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He was even arrested twice in Bristol during the 1980s for graffiti and made to do community service.

Robert formed Massive Attack in 1987 with fellow members of his previous group Wild Bunch, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles.

The band’s first album Blue Lines, released in 1991, was met with critical acclaim, and their third, Mezzanine, released in 1998, sold nearly 4 million copies.  

In 2009, Robert was awarded an Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

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With a reputation for partying, he was linked romantically to Kate Moss at the end of the 1990s, but little is known about his relationship status now.

Is Robert Del Naja Banksy?

Banksy’s identity has been kept secret since the early 90s.

Robert Del Naja and Banksy have long been linked—both are graffiti artists with well-known roots in Bristol, leading to speculation that the Massive Attack musician is the real Banksy. 

Firstly, DJ and former graffiti artist Goldie added fuel to the long-standing rumours that Robert was behind the mysterious street art in 2017 when he seemed to accidentally refer to Banksy as “Robert”.

As a guest on Scroobius Pip’s ‘Distraction Pieces’ podcast, talking about Banksy, Goldie said: “No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”

Some fans and theorists have even linked Massive Attack’s tour dates with new Banksy street art.

On the day a new Banksy appeared in Toronto, Massive Attack played a show in the city.

In 2013, Banksy’s ‘The Street Is in Play’ appeared in New York at the same time that Massive Attack were playing a four-night run of shows. 

Despite denying the rumours, both Banksy and Del Naja have cited one another as artistic inspiration, and appear to be friends. 

Addressing the scheduling coincidences, Robert told the Daily Mail: “It would be a good story but sadly not true. Wishful thinking, I think. He 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.”

Banksy has also denied the links.

In an intro for '3D and the Art of Massive Attack', he wrote: “When I was about 10 years old, a kid called 3D was painting the streets hard."

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“3D quit painting and formed the band Massive Attack, which may have been a good thing for him, but was a big loss for the city,” he added. 

Other people are rumoured to be Banksy, like Bristol-born Robin Gunningham, and the Gorillaz's Jamie Hewlett.

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