2003 Banksy interview to be aired in full for first time on BBC Sounds

A bonus episode BBC Radio 4’s The Banksy Story features a recording of an interview with the artist, not heard for 20 years and broadcast in full for the first time.

This follows what is believed to be Banksy’s voice being broadcast in the UK for the first time earlier this year.

The interview took place with former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench while Banksy’s 2003 Turf War show was being installed in an east London warehouse, for Radio 4’s PM programme.

The three day show featured anti-authority themes with graffitied police vans, the now iconic image of Winston Churchill with a grass Mohican and live farm animals with the Met Police’s blue-checked patterns painted all over them.

When asked whether graffiti is vandalism and illegal, Banksy response was that he thinks most people like his work and can paint over it if they don’t like it, and he thinks of the city as a big playground.

“Yeah. If it’s done properly, it is illegal,” he says. “But I got a good reaction I think off most people from my work.

“You know, I’ve even had policemen in the past say they kind of like things about it, but… I just think it’s my right to go out and paint it. And it is equally somebody else’s right to go out and paint over it if they don’t like it, you know?

“It doesn’t actually take very long with a bucket of white paint to paint over things. I think it’s better if you treat the city like a big playground, you know?… It’s there to mess about in, you know?”

On whether vandalism is art, Banksy says he wants to make art that takes less time to make than it does for people to look at it.

“It’s a quicker way of making your point, right? Like, in the same way my mother used to cook Sunday roast every Sunday and say ‘it takes hours to make it and minutes to eat’. And these days she eats microwave meals for one and seems a lot happier, I’m kind of taking that approach to art really.

“I want to get it done and dusted. You know, for me the golden aim really is… for it to take you less time to make it than it takes people to look at it,” he says.

During the interview, Banksy also appears to confirm his first name when Nigel asks if it’s Robert and he replies: “It’s Robbie.”

When asked about the modern art establishment as many of them might be attending the show that evening, Banksy says he would never knowingly sell anything to Charles Saatchi and still blamed him for Margaret Thatcher. He also said the ‘Brit Art’ thing wasn’t something that interested him.

The Banksy Story bonus episode is available on BBC Sounds from today, 21 November.

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