“Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy,” emphatically stated the former ‘Art Attack’ host on his website. Buchanan was prompted to deny claims that he is actually the elusive graffiti artist after a social-media rumour went viral this week.
The theory first gained traction when some Twitter users noticed that Banksy’s artwork appeared in the same places where Buchanan’s heavy metal band ‘Marseille’ have played gigs. Like Buchanan, Banksy is also a musician.
One Twitter user argued: “Neil Buchanan WAS known for his big outdoor pieces utilising multimedia props and items to craft uncanny replicas, and then sometimes getting chased down by a perturbed member of authority who he supposedly “borrowed” the materials from.”
In the 90’s, Buchanan hosted shows such as ‘Finder’s Keepers’ and ‘It’s a Mystery’. But he is most recognised for presenting the much-loved children’s TV show ‘Art Attack’ from 1990 until 2007. He often created large-scale artworks for the programme, including a zoo scene formed from sacks of vegetables, and a giant snail etched into a field with a lawnmower.
“We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story… we can confirm that there is no truth in the rumour whatsoever,” announced the notice on Buchanan’s website.
The statement added “Neil spent Lockdown with vulnerable members of his family and is now preparing to launch his new art collection in 2021.”
The Liverpudlian’s unequivocal denial follows decades of speculation about the unconfirmed identity of Bristol-based Banksy. Several theories have emerged over the years, with the most popular claiming that the renowned Bristol artist Robin Gunningham is the mysterious graffitist.
Banksy most recently funded a bright pink motor yacht to rescue refugees attempting to reach Europe from north Africa. Named after a French feminist anarchist, the Louise Michel vessel rescued 89 people from the Mediterranean Sea last month.