A series of photos purported to be of the elusive street artist Banksy have emerged online; however, his face is never revealed.
Steve Lazarides, who was Banksy’s agent and photographer during his early years as an artist, has released the photos ahead of the publication of his book titled Banksy Captured, which documents their time working together.
Banksy is seen from behind in some of his reputed photos, while others have his face concealed, one with a book and another with a plank of wood (click here to view).
“These images were from a period in time when we ran riot, tearing down the art establishment,” Lazarides wrote.
Lazarides, now an art gallery owner, said in a press release that he had worked with Banksy “for 11 glorious years, during which time we broke every rule in the rule book, along with a fair few laws”.
“I hate the art world. I only became part of it because Banksy catapulted the movement into the stratosphere,” he added, calling their period together a “ride”.
Banksy is rumoured to hail from the city of Bristol in southwest England; he made his name with his trademark stencil paintings on buildings and walls, laced with satire and political commentary.
Some of his best-known works include the mural ‘Girl with Balloon’, a framed copy of which was shred to pieces at an auction, and ‘Devolved Parliament’ – a literal interpretation of the term depicting chimps sitting in the House of Commons.
Banksy prefers to remain anonymous, which only fuels public interest in his persona. There is a widespread theory that Banksy is actually Robert Del Naja, the 54-year-old Bristol-born co-founder of the trip-hop band Massive Attack.
A long-lost ITV News video interview with an English graffiti artist purported to be Banksy was discovered in June this year. It shows the artist, whose face is partially hidden by a cap and a pulled-up T-shirt, stencilling Banksy’s famous ‘Kill More’ graffiti on a wall.