The mysterious Banksy could soon be unmasked as a famous artist has been named in court.
The English-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director goes under the pseudonym of Banksy, as their real name and identity remain unconfirmed.
Banky’s work has randomly appeared on walls and buildings all across the world since the early 1990s.
While people have tried to unravel their identity, no one has succeeded.
However, there is a possibility that we may soon be able to associate a face with Banksy.
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According to the Daily Mail, a 50-year-old man called Robin Gunningham has been named as the first defendant in a legal action accusing him of defamation.
His co-defendant is reportedly Pest Control Ltd., a company established by Banksy to manage sales of their art.
Gunningham has long been thought to be the man behind the moniker, however, there has been no confirmation.
Legal action has been initiated by Andrew Gallagher – a 56-year-old entrepreneur who first started working in the music industry by putting on raves throughout the 90s.
Neither Gallagher nor his lawyer, Aaron Wood, have provided much information on the case.
Wood has reportedly said that details surrounding the case will remain ‘confidential’ ‘until Banksy or Pest Control file their acknowledgement of service’.
“For this reason, I’m not at liberty to say any more about the claim,” Wood stated.
Banksy and Gallagher have had legal disputes in the past, as Gallagher’s greeting card company, Full Colour Black, challenged Banksy’s trademark in 2019 – claiming that he was no longer using it.
The artist said at the time (via Metro): “A greetings cards company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art, and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.”
Similar to the most recent case, Banksy’s identity was at risk of being exposed, which he added would ‘diminish the persona of the artist’.
Full Colour Black rejected Banky’s claims and the EU Intellectual Property Office ruled in favour of Gallgaher’s company.
But after an appeal was put forward, the ruling was overturned.
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The fact Banksy’s identity and appearance remains unknown has added to the allure of his work – with his art being in demand and selling for huge sums of money.
Celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie, Chris Martin and George Michael have all purchased his work.
Justin Bieber on the other hand got a tattoo that looked very similar to his famous Balloon Girl painting.
At an auction in 2021, his ‘Love is in the Bin’ piece sold for £18.5 million and this is just one of his pieces that have sold for millions.