EXCLUSIVE: “I’m the real Banksy,” claims British artist hiding out in Spain

British artist claims ‘wealthy and powerful members of Britain’s art circle’ stole Banksy from him

LAST UPDATED: 26 Jun, 2015 @ 10:14
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Michael Shurman
Michael Shurman. Photo copyright the Olive Press

“I’M the real Banksy,” says British artist Michael Shurman, straight-faced with a sense of enormous relief.

Just four words into the interview and I’m hooked.

Lured on the promise of ‘the biggest art story in half a century’ I headed into the Guadalhorce Valley for what would turn out to be one of the most surreal afternoons of my life.

Miles away from anywhere, I met mysterious Brit Michael Shurman at his secluded hideout in the mountains.

“Or should I say, I created Banksy and then it was stolen from me,” he adds.

“There is no Banksy, there never was.”

The 52-year-old artist, originally from London, claims he created the ‘Banksy’ persona in 2004.

He purports that Banksy was stolen from him and then continued by ‘wealthy and powerful members of Britain’s art circle’.

Portrait of Picasso
Portrait of Picasso. Photo copyright the Olive Press

As a result, Shurman says that he has been ‘ousted’ by the British art scene and was forced to flee to Spain.

“There are some very powerful people behind this,” he adds. “Everyone from art dealers to national newspaper editors are in on it.

“People know I am the creator of Banksy, I have had over 120 works of art stolen over the last 10 years as everyone waits for the lid to be blown on this.

He adds: “I was banned from art galleries in the UK, commissions were mysteriously cancelled and I was not allowed to compete in national art competitions.

“They are scared of me and wanted me to slip away, but I’ve bit my tongue for long enough.

“This time next year people will be talking about Shurman, not Banksy. I’m going to pull the pants down on the whole scam.”

Shurman claims to have invented the Banksy idea while he was living in Glastonbury.

He claims that he first painted the image of alien heads in Bristol and Glastonbury in 2004, an image which has become synonymous with Banksy.

Shurman with latest piece
Shurman with latest piece. Photo copyright the Olive Press

“Banksy was my creation,” he adds. “Although at the time it wasn’t called Banksy, it was just something I was doing.

“It’s only when it got taken over that the ‘Banksy’ myth was attributed to it.”

Shurman, who moved to Spain in November 2014, said he has finally had enough and is ready to ‘expose those behind the con’.

Although he says he is not scared of the Banksy operators he says he intentionally chose his low-key, off the beaten track home in Andalucia’s mountains so he ‘could not be easily found’.

He is now in the process of selecting a lawyer in Spain to help him claim for damages against the people behind Banksy.

More to follow…



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18 COMMENTS

  1. Gosh that sangria gets stronger. Hahaha. Does he have any proof of locations seeing as he is in Spain. Another one wanting a life in the sun for little effort.

  2. I have looked at Michael Shurman’s art and is in no way comparable to “Banksy’s” pieces often done in public places in a large graffiti style with a clear political connotation. I sense artistic jealousy here why make claim to someone else’s work? Shurman these days produces medium size or small canvas cartoons often with genitalia and well known cartoon characters distorted. He also claims to be channeled by all of the great masters from Van Gogh to Dali although his work does not show such mastery. No you are not Banksy you are an insane cartoonist with delusions of grandeur

    • Again someone who hasn’t read the article. Michael Shurman is NOT saying he is Banksy….what’s the matter with people? Are you that lacking in intelligence that you can’t understand the point that is being made?? Note the end of the article reads.. “more to follow….”

  3. Says he is looking to hire a Spanish Lawyer to pursue his claim…….good luck with that one.

    Another of the many fantasists seeking publicity on the Costa del Sol.

  4. Its the Banksy idea that he’s saying was stolen.the whole hidden identity political agenda thing.And because he knew about it all and could cause alot of trouble for certain people,he was basically bullied out of the UK. Please read the article properly

  5. Funny he didn’t mention this a couple of months ago when he was interviewed in another expat paper. I have read the article and I have not changed my mind. Just another chancer reinventing themselves in Spain and looking for a bit of publicity.

    • It’s all part of the bigger plan Bryan, the expat paper you refer to backs graffiti artists linked to the council … same as the Banksy myth you have fallen for!

  6. Wow. He invented the Banksy persona in 2004 – a good five years AFTER that name had already been used by Banksy in the UK. You can add time travel to Shurmans ‘talents’. What a load of delusional hype by Shurman for his own purposes. A simple check proves that Banksy.co.uk was registered as a domain and displaying his art way before Shurmans claim of 2004. He’s talking nonsense just to get some press

  7. Don’t despair it’s just another hoax i cooked up to get my client Banksy in the news again. Must admit it’s becoming tiring though and it does worry me that people are going to see through this type of hype sooner or later. If any of you can give me some fresh ideas drop me a line.

    At least I was able to drop this story out there during my promoting of Dface and sheps his museum show. Yah know its saves me travel expenses too

  8. It seems so unreal. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? At least start with some evidence. Banksy’s art are so figurative and meaningful work. Why is Shurman’s work surreal and colorful? And on a canvas… really? Banksy just recently painted on canvas, but his main paintings (graffiti/spray paints) are on the wall. People would deconstruct those wall and put them for auction.

    I mean the real Banksy that I imagined would be someone young with a good body build (maybe also with a handsome face :D ), I mean, he was known for graffiti and you need to have agility to not get caught by the police.

    Also, more interesting story here:
    “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3478606/Scientists-say-Mail-Sunday-got-Banksy-s-identity-right-Hi-tech-tools-confirm-discovery-graffiti-artist-Robin-Gunningham.html”

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