Legal row may finally force mysterious artist Banksy to reveal his real name | Banksy

His identity has long been the subject of speculation and investigation, but if a dispute over a print of the late Queen Elizabeth ends up in court, Banksy may be forced to reveal his real name.

Two art collectors are taking legal action against a graffiti artist's company after it refused to confirm its authenticity. Monkey Queen. After three years of trying to get an answer, Nikki Katz and Ray House lost patience and sued Pest Control for breach of contract.

They point to Best Control's website, which says it will issue certificates of authenticity to „paintings, prints, sculptures and other creative endeavors.” It compares the certificate to “an MOT for the art world”: “[It] You can buy, sell or insure an artifact that is legal and the wheels don't fall off.

Known for his stencil-based images, Banksy has described himself as a „quality subversive” who mocks authority figures through artworks in public spaces. His fragmentary painting Love is in the tank It sold for more than £18.5 million at auction in 2021, while his signed prints sold for five and six figures. Best Control was set up by the artist in 2008, which sells fake prints online and plays a major role in the market for his work. A certificate of authenticity is said to be essential to fetch the highest price when selling his work.

Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja, pictured at the 2013 exhibition, is suspected to be Banksy. Photo: Oliver Rudkin/Shutterstock

Banksy's true identity has been a celebrated mystery among the media and public for decades. Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz and former TV presenter Neil Buchanan Art attackAll were suspected.

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In 2008, the Daily Mail „untie” him as Robin Cunningham, then a 34-year-old former public school student, although the artist denies this. No one could quite connect Cunningham and Banksy. Doing so would destroy his mystique and cost him his work.

The only instance of her revealing her first name is in a 2003 interview with a BBC reporter. In a recent post, Banksy was asked his real name „Robert Banks” to which he replied „It's Robbie”.

Katz and Howes say they tried in vain to get a ruling from pest control. Monkey Queen One of Banksy's authentic prints from a limited edition of 150.

They sent the artwork to Best Control and explained that it had been bought from the estate of a recently deceased, established bank collector for £30,000 in 2020, but it turned out not to be. With documents detailing its collection history.

Gates, 65, is from London and owns a quarry and an art collection that includes numerous Banksy works. Monkey Queen Valued between £55,000 and £70,000 and he was outraged by the delay in pest control: „We're in no-man's land, that's a lot of money. They claim to be the official verifiers of this artist's work. But it's been going on for three years. They're sitting on the fence – they won't say whether it's right or wrong. We've been dragging our tails for three years.

In pest control, he said: „'You've got the job; you've inspected it. Is it right or wrong? That's the service you claim to provide. If it's wrong, that's right, because we have a claim on the estate that bought the piece. If it's right, great. We need to verify that. Just give us the documents.' They don't provide proper service.

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Legal action is now the only option, he added: “We have sued Pest Control for breach of contract. They had three years to do what I paid them to do [£50] To do, there is plenty of time to deal with the situation by any standard.”

The Banksy artwork Well Hung Lover in Bristol was vandalized by paintball in 2009. Photo: Christopher Jones / Rex

He added: “I am very disappointed with Banksy. No one can verify a piece of his work without his certificate. This dramatically affects the value of his work. If I have a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, there is no 'Leonardo control' to check it. Whether or not this is Leonardo da Vinci's work of art, I'll take it to the experts. In the case of Banksy, even if an expert says the piece is his, if it doesn't have a pest control certificate, that expert can't be trusted.

John Brandler, a leading specialist dealer in graffiti artists, said: „I believe it's a real Banksy, but it took three years for these collectors to get anywhere with pest control. It's pure market manipulation because Banksy only certifies works that certain people want to keep.

„It's not recognition. If someone finds a Titian in an attic, no one will say: 'Who are you and why did you get it?' It's a Didion or it's not. With Banksy, it's: 'Who are you and why should I tell you?'

But Brandler noted that Banksy's prices are „much lower than they were three years ago.” He isolated Police vehicle, which depicts a vehicle raised in bricks: “Two or three years ago, it would have fetched £1.5m to £2m. It sold a month ago in Paris for €300,000.

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Pest Control said: „Our accreditation process is robust and thorough and sometimes lengthy. We have issued several thousand certificates of authenticity.

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