Defended: a 20-year-old interview with Banksy was made public

Defended: a 20-year-old interview with Banksy was made public

The BBC released an interview with the English street artist Banksy. Audio from 20 years ago published as part of a podcast series about the most famous anonymous artist “The Story of Banksy”.

This was reported by the publication Artnet.

A bonus episode of the podcast follows a 2003 interview recorded by a British reporter and arts correspondent for the BBC Nigel Wrench. Then the journalist spoke with the alleged artist on the eve of his first major exhibition “Wars for territory” (Turf War).

In an interview, the artist talked about the meaning of the exhibition, and also shared his attitude to creating graffiti on the streets of London:

“I think it’s better to treat the city as a big playground where you can just play, do what you like: go outside, litter, have fun. Other people can change it. They can get rid of it (note – graffiti) So it’s better to be a bit free and easy with the city, just to be a bit casual with it“.

The Banksy Story podcast is a story about Banksy’s development from an unknown street artist to a world-renowned artist. Photo: BBC

I’d rather have art that people react to than one millionaire judging you and telling people if you’re “art” or not“, he added.

The podcast host also drew attention to how Banksy presented himself in the interview. Nigel Wrench said that then he gave the artist the opportunity to be called as he was most often called in the media space of that time – Robert Banks.

I think this is the most interesting. I gave him the option of simply saying “Robert Banks”, the official version of the name he gave to The Independent. And over the years it has been amazing to me that he corrected me and said it was Robbie“, Wrench added.

Banksy’s graffiti on Independence Square. Photo: Banksy/dpa/picture alliance

Podcast “The Story of Banksy” is the story of Banksy’s transformation from an unknown street artist to a world-renowned artist. The author of the podcast – James Peak – over the course of 10 episodes, explores the phenomenon of the artist’s popularity, and also talks about his creative path.

Earlier, in one of the episodes of the podcast, a three-minute recording of a radio conversation with a man who claimed to be Banksy was also released. The interview took place on the program “About everything in the world” of American radio NPR in 2005.

At that time, it was almost impossible to confirm the identity of the artist, because when the host asked how the listeners could be sure if it was really him, the man answered: “You have no guarantees about this“.

Banksy in Ukraine

The English artist created several graffiti in the towns of Kyiv region, which suffered as a result of the war started by Russia. Initially, drawings in the style of Banksy began to be noticed on destroyed houses in October last year.

Later, the British artist confirmed that he created the graffiti in Borodyanka, Irpen, Gostomel, Gorenka, and Kyiv. Banksy posted a photo of one of his works on Instagram with the caption “Borodianka, Ukraine”, after which he also posted a video of his trip to Ukraine.

Graffiti in Borodyanka. Photo: Ed Ram/Getty Images

In total, there are 7 works of the artist in Ukraine. Some of them try to protect against influence or theft, some, as befits street graffiti, interact with the city. So, in the winter of 2022 in Gostomel, unknown persons cut graffiti with a woman in a robe and a gas mask from the wall. The police found these unknown people. They explained that they wanted to sell the work, and transfer the received money to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Later, one of the kidnappers, the artist Oleksandr Duvinskyi, said that he wanted to “save the graffiti.”

The townspeople are trying to rethink Banksy’s work in different ways. Photo: Vladyslav Sodel

Already in 2023, two graffiti in Borodyanka, which were created on parts of destroyed buildings, were covered with protective glass. For protection, a system with motion, temperature and humidity sensors was also installed.

In Irpen, the house with Banksy’s painting began to be demolished in the spring of 2023. The graffiti of a gymnast girl standing on a shell hole is being dismantled, but is planned to be preserved.

Read also: Leave it as it is or transfer it to the museum: what to do with Banksy’s works in the Kyiv region?

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