Unearthed Footage Shows Banksy Speaking Before He Was Famous

by : Francesca Donovan on : 18 Feb 2017 00:05

The street artist Bansky has reached worldwide renown through his politically-motivated graffiti.


After all these years of speculation – and even a criminal profiling investigation – the artist still remains an unbreakable enigma, having managed to keep his identity under wraps for over a decade.

But footage from an unearthed BBC documentary got closer to Banksy – the man – than ever.


Aired in 1995, the BBC documentary titled Shadow People followed Banksy into the night to film as he stealthily painted the town red, white and black.


Smoking and drinking a tinnie, Banksy told the BBC how he evades capture:

If I’m painting and the cops turn up, I have a couple of options but running is generally not one of them. My favourite one is to make out like I’m pissed and puking up in the corner.

There’s a lot of fun to be had in painting at night and painting illegally.


Shadow People was shot when VHS was the height of technology and before the spotlight was shone on Bansky, and it is eerie to hear the artist speak profoundly about his work, knowing what we do now about its impact on society.

As he paints a piss-take of the police on camera in his studio and heads out into the night, Banksy’s voice narrates his disdain of authority.

He said:

The fun doesn’t come out of getting caught, the fun comes out of not getting caught and there’s that beautiful time when you get home after you’re finished and you’ve done it and you’ve fucked them.


Here’s to plenty more fun for the enigmatic artist and plenty more Bansky works that stick a two-finger salute up to authority.

I’ll never look at a drunk man wondering the streets, puking, in the same way again.

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.


  1. YouTube