The Banksy Story - BBC Radio 4 podcast

The Banksy Story – new podcast offers insights into the elusive artist

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A new 10-part podcast series from BBC Sounds promises to tell The Banksy Story – from graffiti kid to household name. 

After the opening of the first Banksy retrospective at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art last month, a new BBC Radio 4 is looking at the artist’s provocative career.

The Banksy Story hears exclusively from an ex-employee of Banksy’s infamous Picture On Walls print shop, who worked closely with the artist during a critical time in his career.

The series comes from James Peak, a super-fan who seeks to get close to the artist’s secret world. He charts the story of the graffiti kid who made spraying walls into high art, the anonymous figure who became a household name and the cultural phenomenon who bites the hand that feeds him.

The Banksy Story - BBC Radio 4 podcast

The Banksy Story

Between 2003 and 2005, Banksy walked into some of the world’s most famous museums and galleries, placing some of his artworks on the walls. Following a string of stunts in New York including the Metropolitan Museum, someone claiming to be Banksy gave an interview with US radio during which we hear what could potentially be the artist’s voice for the first time – a soft southern accent with an occasional Bristolian twang – describing themselves as a ‘painter and decorator’. During the five minute recording, they display a mischievous sense of humour, explain why and how they pulled off the museum stunts and in doing so, subtly satirise the art world.

They say; “I think it’s testament to the frame of mind most people are in when they’re in a museum really. Most people don’t really notice things and let the world go by… For instance in the Met, they hung a Henri Matisse painting upside down for 42 days I believe it was, until someone told them it was round the wrong way. I was aiming for at least 42 days, but unfortunately didn’t get that far.”

The Banksy Story charts the elusive artist’s journey from street artist to global phenomenon, speaking to contributors who were in the room where it happened. It also features analysis by connoisseurs including author and cultural historian John Higgs (The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds).

Written, Produced and Presented by James Peak, The Banksy Story is available as a boxset on BBC Sounds now. It also broadcasts on weekdays at 1.45pm on BBC Radio 4.